Law and Economics

Kalamazoo College

Chuck Stull
Winter 2014







Course Description: Law and Economics studies the interaction between the legal system and the market system.  It examines whylaw is necessary for markets to function and it uses economic principles to analyze laws.  This course uses basic tools of economics to understand avariety of legal issues.  Topics covered include property and contracts, civil vs. criminal law, antitrust, environmental regulation, and international tradepolicy.

Textbook: Law's Order: What Economics Has to Do with Law and Why It Matters by David Friedman; Princeton University Press

There will be three exams, as follows:

Exam I   Friday January 31 (4th week, in class)

Exam II  Wednesday February 26 (8th week, in class)

Exam III during the scheduled final exam period (Tuesday March 18, 8:30 am)


Material covered on each exam will be discussed in class.  Topics from last year are still available:

Topics for Exam One

Topics for Exam Two

Topics for Final Exam



Course Outline


I.  Introduction (Friedman: Introduction, Chapter 1)


II. Fundamental ideas

            A. Economic Concepts (Chapters 2, 3, 4)

            B. Property and Liability Rights (Chapters 5, 6, 7)

            C. Strategic behavior (Chapter 8)

            D. Compensation (Chapter 9)


III. The US Legal system (Intermezzo)


IV. Legal concepts


            A. Property Law (Chapter 10)

            B. Intellectual Property (Chapter 11)

            C. Contracts (Chapter 12, 13)

            D. Tort Law (Chapter 14)

E. Crime and Punishment (Chapter 15, 18)


V. Applications  (as time permits)

A. Antitrust (Chapter 16)

            B. International markets and the law

            C. Environmental Law


VI. Conclusion (Chapter 19, Epilogue)





My Law and Economics blog

Links by topic

    A. Economic Concepts
    B. Property and Liability Rights
    C. Strategic behavior
    D. Compensation

The Legal system
            Michigan Courts
            Federal Judicial Branch

    A. Property Law
    B. Intellectual Property
            OpposingCopyright Extension
            Prof.Lawrence Lessig (Internet Law)
            Should there be a shorter period of patent protection for prescription drugs ?
             Project Gutenberg(Public domain e-books)
    C. Contracts
            Contract briefs
    D. Tort Law
            Tort briefs
    E. Crime and Punishment
            Criminal briefs

III. Applications
    A. Antitrust
            Should the antitrust exemption for baseball be eliminated?


    B. International markets and the law
    C. Environmental Law

General law and economics links

Econ 280 Term papers from2005

Econ 280 Term paper topics
from 2003.

Law and Economics Linksfrom WebEc

Cooter and Ulen's Law and EconomicsWebsite

D. Friedman 's Class outline for: Economic Analysis of Law



Chuck Stull's homepage

Department of Economics homepage

Kalamazoo College Homepage

Questions, problems, or comments?