Studying Law at Roma Tre

Academic Year 2019-2020

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Spring Semester (March 1 - May 31, 2020)


Economic Analysis of Law 2020

Prof. Giacomo Rojas Elgueta with Prof. Francesco Mezzanotte

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...

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

Course reading material
A selection of readings from various sources will be used as indicated during the semester.

Spring 2020
Course Schedule
Class Topic / Activity
1. March 9 Introduction to the Economic Analysis of Law
2. March 10 Microeconomics: Pareto and Kaldor-Hicks Efficiency
3. March 11 Microeconomics: Demand and Supply Curves; Determination of Market Price and Quantity; Monopoly
4. March 16 L&E Methodology: The Coase Theorem; Externalities
5. March 17 L&E Methodology: Guido Calabresi: Property Rules, Liability Rules and Inalienability
6. March 18 L&E Methodology: Cases and Applications of Property Rules v. Liability Rules
7. March 23 Property Law: Economical classification of goods; Economic rationale of Property Law
8. March 24 Property Law: Fragmentation of Property Rights; The Tragedy of the Anti-commons
9. March 25 Intellectual Property Law
10. March 30 Tort Law: Unilateral Accidents and Levels of Care
11. March 31 Tort Law: Bilateral Accidents and Levels of Care
12. April 1 Outside speaker or student presentation
13. April 6 The legal institutions of the market: Contracts v. vertical integration
14. April 7 Contract Law: The economic rationale of contracts; Incompleteness of contracts
15. April 8 Outside speaker or student presentation
16. April 20 Contract Law: Economic Analysis of Contracts (e.g.: Sharecropping; Franchising)
17. April 21 Contract Law: The economics of contracts’ remedies; Efficient breach
18. April 22 Outside speaker or student presentation
19. April 27 Corporate Law: What is the Purpose of Corporate Law? Agency Problems
20. April 28 Corporate Law: Governance Structure; Creditors Protection
21. April 29 Outside speaker or student presentation
22. May 4 Behavioural Law and Economics: Introduction and Methodology
23. May 5 Behavioural Law and Economics: Regulatory Interventions
24. May 6 Outside speaker or student presentation
25. May 11 Bankruptcy Law: Corporate Bankruptcy
26. May 12 Bankruptcy Law / / Behavioural Law and Economics: Consumer Bankruptcy
27. May 13 Outside speaker or student presentation
28. May 18 Closing lecture



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