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Experimental Study of Law

Camerer, Colin F. and Talley, Eric (2004) Experimental Study of Law. In: Handbook of Law and Economics. Vol.2. Elsevier , Amsterdam, pp. 1619-1650. ISBN 9780444531209.

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This chapter surveys literature on experimental law and economics. Long the domain of legally minded psychologists and criminologists, experimental methods are gaining significant popularity among economists interested in exploring positive and normative aspects of law. Because this literature is relatively new among legally-minded economists, we spend some time in this survey on methodological points. with particular attention to the role of experiments within theoretical and empirical scholarship, the core ingredients of a well done experiment, and common distinctions between experimental economics and other fields that use experimental methods. We then consider a number of areas where experimental evidence is increasingly playing a role in testing the underlying foundational precepts of economic behavior as it applies to law, including bargaining in the shadow of the law, the selection of suits for litigation, and the investigation of jury and judge behavior. Our survey concludes by offering some suggestions about what directions experimental economists might push the methodology in the study of legal rules.

Item Type:Book Section
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Camerer, Colin F.0000-0003-4049-1871
Additional Information:© 2007 Elsevier B.V. First Version: February 2004. Available online 6 November 2007. Many thanks to Jennifer Arlen, Mitch Polinsky, Steve Shavell, and participants at a conference at Harvard Law School for helpful comments and discussions. Jennifer Lam provided excellent research assistance. All errors are ours.
Subject Keywords:Behavioral economics; experimental methods; experimental law and economics; replicability; generalizability; expected utility (EU); rational choice; equilibrium; quantal response equilibrium (QRE); cognitive hierarchy (CH); Coase theorem; endowment effect; self-serving bias; jury; judge; hindsight bias; norms
Classification Code:JEL classification codes: A12; C91; C92; C93; K10; K40
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110204-084343506
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Official Citation:Colin Camerer, Eric Talley, Chapter 21 Experimental Study of Law, In: A.M. Polinsky and S. Shavell, Editor(s), Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier, 2007, Volume 2, Pages 1619-1650, ISSN 1574-0730, ISBN 9780444531209, DOI: 10.1016/S1574-0730(07)02021-X. (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:22004
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:08 Feb 2011 22:47
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 16:02

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