Mgr Magdalena Małecka
Polish Academy of Sciences
English abstract: Law & economics scholars have claimed, from the very beginning of the movement, that their ambition has been to make studies of law more scientific. The neoclassical approach in economic analysis of law is based on the assumption that rationality of people acting in legal contexts can be characterized in the same ways as rationality of homines economici. However, emergence of behavioral economics and attempts to apply it to analysis of law by some law & economics scholars resulted in critical revising the achievements of neoclassical approach. The so called behavioral law & economics criticizes the neoclassical approach on the basis of experiments, which test hypotheses derived from neoclassical theories. Outcomes of those experiments allow to draw conclusion that in many (legal) contexts people don’t behave in accordance with predictions based on neoclassical models. Behavioral law & economics scholars argue that neoclassical theories are grounded on so highly unrealistic assumptions that in many situations they cannot offer predictions of human behavior. I distinguish three main issues that are discussed: philosophical, methodological and normative ones. I formulate critical comments on the raised arguments and final general remarks concerning possibility of making legal studies more scientific, as well as application of economics to studies on law.
Keywords: behavioural law & economics, scientific study of law, legal theory, normative and methodological debate
Published: Number 1(2)/2011, pp. 15-28.
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