GAME1055 | Using Economic Approaches And Basic Game Theory In The Analysis Of Law: An Introductory Exploration

Course Information

  • 2020-21
  • GAME1055
  • 5-Year B.A., LL.B. (Hons.)
  • III, IV, V
  • Nov 2020
  • Seminar Course

This elective seminar course seeks to introduce students to the use of (i) an economic approach, and (ii) basic game theory, in the analysis of law. The course will comprise of 20, two-hour seminar classes. Topics covered will include: (i) core concepts underlying each approach (including an introduction to each approach and the normative foundations of the economic approach); (ii) comparing thinking like an economist and thinking like a lawyer; (iii) introduction to game theory (particularly the Prisoners’ Dilemma); (iv) the use of the economic approach in the analysis of property law, accidents and negligence, contract law, litigation and legal process, and criminal law; (v) general case versus hard case methodologies; (vi) information asymmetry, moral hazard, risk and insurance.

Each of the seminar classes will be conducted as a mix of Socractic-method lectures and class discussion. The course will rely extensively on the two following books: (i) Steven Shavell, Foundations of Economic Analysis of Law (Harvard University Press, 2004); (Shavell) and (ii) John Cirace, Law, Economics and Game Theory (Lexington Books, 2018) (Cirace). Pre-reads for each class will be assigned mainly from these books. Any other pre-reads will be separately notified. Students will be required to complete the assigned pre-reading for each class. The final assessment will be based on an unique writing assessment conducted in the last week of the seminar (see further details on course evaluation).