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Unit information: Law and Economics in 2016/17

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Law and Economics
Unit code ECONM2037
Credit points 15
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Grout
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Economics
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit is an option to be taken in the second term. It will cover the basic applications of economics to legal issues. The first half of the course provides an overview of economic analysis of the law and covers property (and intellectual property), investor protection and corporate governance, contracts, and the provision of legal services, The second half of the course is devoted to competition policy and will cover competition law applied to dominant firms and to agreements, cartels, and the specific problems of competition law in IT markets (focusing on the Microsoft cases).

Intended Learning Outcomes

This optional unit will enable students to understand the role that economics can play in an analysis of the law and the implications for the law that follow from an economic examination of the issues. Within this general approach, there will be a significant component of competition law where the aim is that students will understand the legal constraints that apply in the business place, the underlying rationale for them, and what is appropriate and inappropriate competitive behaviour in a market. The students will learn how basic economic principles can be applied in a specific context, to discriminate between good and poor legal measures, and the problems that arise when specific legal constraints are applied in society.

Teaching Information

10 lectures and 5 tutorial classes

Assessment Information

Formative assessment: Essay + presentation

Summative Assessment: 3 hour closed book written which will assess the intended learning outcomes specified above.

Reading and References

  • Kaplow, L. and S. Shavell, 1999, Economic Analysis of Law, NBER Working Paper No. 6960.
  • The Economic Consequences of Legal Origins’ Rafael La Porta, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, and Andrei Shleifer, Journal of Economic Literature 2008,46:2, 285–332.
  • Posner, R. A., 2005, Intellectual Property: The Law and Economics Approach, The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 19, 57-73.