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This subject introduces students to the economic analysis of the law as a set of tools for analysing laws and understanding the effect legal rules have on the way people behave. The subject explores the extent to which the principles of economics can be used to explain the workings of the legal system itself. Students will learn how to construct and critique basic economic models of the incentive effects of different legal rules and institutions.
The topics covered in this subject include:
- the Coase theorem
- the choice between property and liability rules
- the allocative effects of alternative liability rules (e.g. strict liability versus negligence)
- the determination of remedies in civil claims (e.g. contract, tort)
- the economics of legal procedure
- public choice.
Particular attention is paid to applying economic analysis to contemporaneous legal and policy controversies in Australia and Asia-Pacific.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will demonstrate:
- The cognitive and technical skills to critically and independently apply economic principles in critical analysis of legal rules and public policy
- Integrated understanding of the basic economic concepts such as demand-supply, Coase theorem, public choice, moral hazard, adverse selection etc in the legal context
- Through the assessment involving examination, the ability to identify and resolve theoretical and practical problems concerning the economic dimension of legal rules and public policy.
On successful completion of this subject, students will have developed their skills in the following areas:
- Specialist understanding, interpretation, application, and evaluation of economic principles in the context of law and policy debate.
- Identifying and resolving theoretical and practical problems concerning the economic dimension of law and policy debates in a manner that display independent, critical and professional judgment.
- Analyse critically and reflect on the merits and limitations on the inter-disciplinary approach of law, especially for research and further learning.
Last updated: 11 February 2021