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Curriculum

The objective

Designed for students who wish to pursue careers in universities, research institutions, or government, the program offers a specialized interdisciplinary approach that integrates law and economics within a rigorous curriculum. Students receive a solid grounding in microeconomic theory, econometrics, and law and economics theory. Our principal fields include behavioral law and economics, risk and environmental regulation, and labor and human resources.

Please note that students in the Ph.D. Program in Law and Economics do not take the graduate macroeconomic sequence. The program does not offer coursework in finance.

Ph.D. program requirements

Students admitted to the program are required to successfully complete 72 hours of coursework and research. This includes a minimum of 48 hours of formal coursework in core, field, and elective courses as well as 6 hours of Ph.D. Workshop in Law and Economics. The core consists of 30 hours in law and economics, economic theory, and empirical analysis. After their first year of study, students select two fields of concentration from a pre-approved list of fields and begin taking the associated field courses. Currently, the list of identified fields includes behavioral law and economics, risk and environmental regulation, and labor and human resources. Field requirements include 12 hours of coursework (6 hours in each field). In some circumstances, and with the consent of the director of graduate studies and program faculty, students are allowed to develop a new field.

The program is offering the following courses in 2017-2018:

Fall 2017

LWEC 8401. Law and Economics Theory I (Skiba)
LWEC 8430. Risk and Environmental Regulation I (Viscusi) 

Spring 2018

LWEC 8403. Behavioral Law and Economics I (Skiba)
LWEC 8405. Econometrics for Legal Research (Hersch)
LWEC 8406. Research in Law and Economics (Anderson)
LWEC 8431. Risk and Environmental Regulation II (Byl)  
LWEC 8490. Ph.D. Workshop in Law and Economics (Viscusi)

The record of LWEC course offerings 2007-2017 may be found at the LWEC Course Archive.

First-Year Graduate Core

Fall 2017

ECON 8000. Mathematics for Economists
ECON 8100. Microeconomic Theory I
ECON 8300. Statistical Analysis 
LWEC 8401. Law and Economics Theory I

Spring 2018 

ECON 8110. Microeconomic Theory II 
ECON 8310. Econometrics I 
LWEC 8403. Behavioral Law and Economics I
LWEC 8405. Econometrics for Legal Research

J.D./Ph.D. program requirements

The program's director of graduate studies works with students who have been admitted into the joint-degree program to help them coordinate the course of study so that all requirements of both degrees are met. Please visit the Law School's main curriculum page to learn more about the requirements of the J.D. program.

Law and Economics courses

LWEC 8401. Law and Economics Theory I
Principles of economic analysis as applied to legal issues. Topics include, among others, torts, property, litigation, and government regulation. Pre- or co-requisite: ECON 8100. [3]

LWEC 8402. Law and Economics Theory II
Economic analysis of the law with applications from civil and criminal procedure, law enforcement, property, torts, decision-making by courts, settlement negotiation, contracts, and antitrust. Prerequisite: LWEC 8401; Pre- or co-requisite ECON 8110. [3]

LWEC 8403. Behavioral Law and Economics I
Economic principles underlying behavioral law and economics research. Analyses of the rationality of individual choice will be undertaken, including research that involves the interaction of economics, psychology, and decision sciences. Applications of behavioral law and economics methods will be applied to the analysis of jury behavior. Pre- or co-requisite: ECON 8100. [3]

LWEC 8404. Behavioral Law and Economics II
Research contributions at the frontier of behavioral law and economics research. Each student will structure a controlled experiment to test the rationality of jury behavior, the effect of alternative jury instructions, or a similar kind of scientifically controlled study of behavior relating to the performance of the legal system. Students will administer and analyze the survey results and will prepare an original research paper on their chosen topic. Pre-requisite: LWEC 8403. [3]

LWEC 8405. Econometrics for Legal Research
Analysis and critique of empirical legal research using advanced econometric techniques. Topics will be drawn from the program's core fields. Students will perform independent empirical research using primary data sources. Pre- or co-requisite ECON 8300, ECON 8310, LWEC 8401. [3]

LWEC 8406. Research in Law and Economics
Students will develop and complete an original research paper. The paper may pose an original research question or may be a replication of an existing empirical result. [3]

LWEC 8420. Labor Markets and Human Resources I
Economic, econometric, and legal analysis of the labor market. Topics include analysis of the economic impact of employment laws with a particular focus on antidiscrimination laws, use of labor market studies to estimate the value of statistical life, and behavioral labor economics and economic models of fairness in the employment relationship. Pre-requisite ECON 8100, ECON 8300, ECON 8310. [3]

LWEC 8421. Labor Markets and Human Resources II
Application of economic and legal analysis to labor market and demographic transformations, including changes in the gender composition of labor market participants, aging of the workforce, immigration, education, poverty, inequality, and provision of health services. Pre-requisite ECON 8100, ECON 8300, ECON 8310. [3]

LWEC 8430. Risk and Environmental Regulation I
Analysis of the sources of market failure that create a rationale for risk and environmental regulation. Methodologies pertaining to appropriate valuation and enforcement of these regulatory policies. Applications include procedures for estimating the value of statistical life, perception of risk, the role of hazard warnings, risk analysis by government agencies, and the enforcement of regulatory programs. Pre-requisite ECON 8100, ECON 8300, ECON 8310. [3]

LWEC 8431. Risk and Environmental Regulation II
Analysis of the sources of market failure that create a rationale for risk and environmental regulation. Methodologies pertaining to appropriate valuation and enforcement of these regulatory policies. This course will focus on theoretical economic models of risk and environmental regulation. Among the topics included will be the economics of risk and uncertainty, discounting, and benefit-cost analysis. Pre-requisite ECON 8100, ECON 8300, ECON 8310. [3]

LWEC 8490. Ph.D. Law and Economics Workshop
Research workshop on the presentation and interpretation of research and literature on law and economics. Topics vary with student and faculty interest. [3]

LWEC 8349. Readings in Law and Economics
Directed study. Must obtain DGS and Graduate School approval.

LWEC 8999. Non-Candidate Research

LWEC 9999. Ph.D. Dissertation Research