Law and Public Policy provides rich course materials that permit students to explore the interrelationships between law and economic/social processes in a variety of contexts. It draws on many economic approaches (not only neoclassical economics) and other social sciences, such as psychology, sociology, anthropology and political science, for the tools of public policy analysis. It offers students an interdisciplinary, values-based approach to public policy that takes into account the power implications and distributional effects of laws and emphasizes attention to historical context, philosophical beliefs, culture, existing institutions, working rules and sources of power.
The textbook begins with an introductory chapter on law and socioeconomics, followed by background chapters on legal regulation and cognitive psychology; economic fairness and human well-being; legal compliance and legal socialization; culture, norms and legal regulation; and cooperation, trust and the law. These chapters address such issues as the significance of the rationality assumption to legal regulations, the relevance of customs and conceptions of fairness to legal, political and economic decision making and the relationship of moral orientation to judicial and administrative decisions. The textbook includes chapters on race, gender and other forms of discrimination; the domain of markets, which includes the issues surrounding surrogacy contracts and egg donors; the complex interrelationships between legal regulations and changing norms in the society, workplace and within families; corporate governance issues in the wake of Enron; social responsibility issues confronting domestic and multinational corporations; globalization, including the impact of globalization on U.S. and foreign workers due to trade and capital liberalization; and problems of emerging market economies. Each chapter contains extensive notes that provide information and questions to serve as the basis for vigorous class discussions.
This book may be used as a primary textbook for law and public policy courses at law schools, business schools and for public affairs, political science and prelaw programs. It may also be used as a primary textbook for law and economics and law and socioeconomics courses. Individual chapters may enrich courses on subjects such as civil rights, family law, women and the law, international law and corporations.
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