Law and Economics     BEE 3019 2016     Essay

The essay is worth 30% of your grade.

You are expected to use the library to find relevant literature, in addition to the references given. Special credit will be given to people who go significantly beyond the lectures and textbooks.




Length The essay should be between 1,000 words and 2,000 words maximum.

Marks will be deducted for breaking the rules.




Due Date 1st December 2016 (to be confirmed)




Hard copy submission via BART. Please check your student number is on your essay.




Answer one of the following questions

  1. It is often argued that people display behavioural biases which cause them to deviate from the usual economic models of rational behaviour. Which behavioural biases are relevant for Law and Economics. How would allowing for behavioural biases change the main results of Law and Economics.

  2. Does the current patent system provide sufficient incentive for useful innovations? Are prizes better than patents? Illustrate your answer with some relevant examples such as the longitude prize.

  3. Discuss the claim that contract law should facilitate the efforts of contracting parties to maximize the joint gains (the "contractual surplus") from transactions.

  4. Discuss to what extent the general rule in trial court system that the plaintiff has the burden of proof is a good rule.

Please keep to the following guidelines

The essay should be your own work. It is considered cheating if all or part of an assignment is copied either from another student or from a book or journal. Quota-tions from published material are allowed, provided references are given. Please list references at the end of the essay.

In particular, diagrams must be your own work. Photocopies of diagrams or diagrams electronically cut and pasted from books or journal articles are not acceptable. Please produce your own diagrams. These can be drawn by hand or computer graphics.

Note you are not expected to read everything on the reading list. We have deliberately provided a selection of references for each topic.

You are encouraged to include mathematical derivations where relevant. However it is possible to get a mark over 70 without using any formulae.

In the past I have been asked about the correct format for references. I suggest that you follow the style of one of the major journals. Econometrica is a good example for bibliography style.

Bear in mind that both the essay and your examination papers will be seen by internal and external second markers who will not have attended the lectures. It would be desirable to define terms and explain notation for their benefit.