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Do we need behavioral economics to explain law?


Do we need behavioral economics to explain law? I analyze Judge Guido Calabresi’s claim that we do. I find that, actually, we don’t; traditional economic theory can explain law just fine.

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I thank Paola Suarez, the Editors, and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments.

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Correspondence to Peter T. Leeson.

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This paper was prepared for the Conference on the Future of Law and Economics at Boston University School of Law, June 1–2, 2017.

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Leeson, P.T. Do we need behavioral economics to explain law?. Eur J Law Econ 48, 29–42 (2019).

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  • Calabresi
  • Behavioral economics
  • Rent-seeking
  • Merit goods
  • Altruism
  • Organ sales
  • Conscription
  • Minneapolis 5% tradition
  • The Future of Law and Economics

JEL Classification

  • K00