Studying Law at Roma Tre

Academic Year 2018-2019

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Spring Semester (March 1 - May 31, 2019)


Economic Analysis of Law 2019

Prof. Giacomo Rojas Elgueta with Prof. Francesco Mezzanotte


Monday (Aula 248) – Tuesday (Aula 1.02 (Ed. Tommaseo) – Wednesday (Aula 248)

Office hour: after Tuesday’s classes.

Course description:  
The purpose of the course is to analyse the legal phenomenon through the economic lens and, more specifically, through the notions of neoclassical economics. The predictive ability, typical of the economic reasoning, allows one to determine which incentives are placed on individuals by different laws and, consequently, which effects should be reasonably expected from the adoption of a certain rule. The “Law and Economics” method aims at selecting efficient rules capable of maximizing the social welfare. The course reckons the most recent developments of “Law and Economics” and in particular addresses the “Behavioral Law and Economics” method, which supplements the rational choice theory with the insights of cognitive psychology.

Course Learning Objectives
The course aims:
  • at introducing students to the foundations and the main topics of the Economic Analysis of Law, and to the ‘Law and Economics’ methodology
  • at providing students with the necessary tools to evaluate the efficiency of legal rules with regard to Property Law, Contracts, Torts, Corporate Law and Bankruptcy Law
  • at analysing cutting-edge research in law and economics
  • at explaining the link between law, psychology and human behaviour

Course Learning Activities
The course consists of lectures on the main subjects of ‘Law and Economics’, followed by outside speakers workshops and discussion sessions that are meant to support the lectures and encourage interactive student participation.

Assessment tools
Student evaluation will be based on class participation, oral presentations given by the students during the semester, and a final written exam.

Attendance policy
Class attendance is compulsory.

Course textbook
A.W. Dnes, Principles of Law and Economics, III ed., Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2018.

Course reading material
A selection of readings will be used as indicated during the semester to support student presentations.

Course Schedule
Class Topic / Activity
1. 4 Mar Introduction to the Economic Analysis of Law
2. 5 Mar Microeconomics: Pareto and Kaldor-Hicks Efficiency
3. 6 Mar Microeconomics: Demand and Supply Curves; Determination of Market Price and Quantity; Monopoly
4. 11 Mar L&E Methodology: The Coase Theorem; Externalities
5. 12 Mar L&E Methodology: Guido Calabresi: Property Rules, Liability Rules and Inalienability
6. 13 Mar L&E Methodology: Cases and Applications of Property Rules v. Liability Rules
7. 18 Mar Property Law: Economical classification of goods; Economic rationale of Property Law
8. 19 Mar Property Law: Fragmentation of Property Rights; The Tragedy of the Anti-commons
9. 20 Mar Outside speaker or student presentation
10. 25 Mar Tort Law: Unilateral Accidents and Levels of Care
11. 26 Mar Tort Law: Bilateral Accidents and Levels of Care
12. 27 Mar Outside speaker or student presentation
13. 1 Apr The legal institutions of the market: Contracts v. vertical integration
14. 2 Apr Contract Law: The economic rationale of contracts; Incompleteness of contracts
15. 3 Apr Outside speaker or student presentation
16. 8 Apr Contract Law: Economic Analysis of Contracts (e.g.: Sharecropping; Franchising)
17. 9 Apr Contract Law: The economics of contracts’ remedies; Efficient breach
18. 15 Apr Outside speaker or student presentation
19. 16 Apr Corporate Law: What is the Purpose of Corporate Law? Agency Problems
20. 17 Apr Corporate Law: Governance Structure; Creditors Protection
21. 29 Apr Outside speaker or student presentation
22. 30 Apry Behavioural Law and Economics: Introduction and Methodology
23. 6 May Behavioural Law and Economics: Regulatory Interventions
24. 7 May Outside speaker or student presentation
25. 8 May Corporate Law / Behavioural Law and Economics: Understanding the Financial Crisis
26. 13 May Bankruptcy Law: Corporate Bankruptcy
27. 14 May Outside speaker or student presentation
28. 15 May Bankruptcy Law / / Behavioural Law and Economics: Consumer Bankruptcy
29. 20 May Closing lecture



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