LAW42170 Behavioural Law & Economics

Academic Year 2022/2023

This course will cover the basic concepts in the field of Behavioral Law and Economics. It will trace the history of the field, starting from its beginnings, as a criticism of the then-accepted Law and Economics paradigm, to its present importance in analyses of law. Law and Economics hypothesizes that people are “rational.” Its depiction of people has been acknowledged as unrealistic, but it has nevertheless been justified as being useful—indeed, more useful than any alternative paradigm. Behavioral Law and Economics has mostly challenged the descriptive aspect of Law and Economics, arguing that people are not “rational.” There have also been some challenges to the definition of rationality. How is any of this relevant for law? Law attempts to change behavior. Law therefore needs an account of what influences behavior. The approach has broad applications as society seeks to discourage undesirable behavior and encourage desirable behavior.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

When you finish this course, you will
• Understand the underlying theory and main concepts of Behavioral Law and Economics
• Be able to make Behavioral Law and Economics arguments about important legal and policy issues, including in areas such as criminal law, welfare policy, and climate concerns

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
I have two goals for the students. One is that they learn the relevant concepts. The other is that they understand how the concepts can, do, and could, inform law and policy. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Continuous Assessment: Class Participation Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Assignment: Class presentation and assignment, leading one seminar discussion topic (2,500 words), and ancillary responsibility for two other topics (each 750 words). Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Written feedback on all assignments will be provided to students.

Name Role
Professor Claire Hill Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Wed 14:00 - 15:50