About this Course
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100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Hours to complete

Approx. 12 hours to complete

Suggested: 16 hours of videos and assessments...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English...
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Hours to complete

Approx. 12 hours to complete

Suggested: 16 hours of videos and assessments...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English...

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

Property

Property is where law and economics meet, but it's not a simple concept. Property is not an object or a relation between people and objects, but a set of rights, relations among people over who is to control each of the many uses to which objects can be put. Different people may control different uses of an object, that is, have different property rights over its various uses, at the same time, or control the same use of the object at different times. When new uses create disputes, the law must define new property rights and allocate them initially to resolve the dispute – someone must be deemed to have won the dispute and be given initial ownership of the new rights. But once the former disputants are allowed to trade these rights among themselves, surprising results follow. ...
Reading
5 videos (Total 102 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video5 videos
An Infinity of Rights22m
Creating New Property11m
A Neighborly Dispute18m
"It Doesn't Matter Who Wins"22m
Reading2 readings
Suggested Readings10m
Five Articles from JSTOR10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Property24m
Week
2
Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

Exchange and Efficiency

Voluntary exchange implies mutual benefit – when people trade property rights, it's because they each believe that what they get from the trade will be more valuable to them than what they have to give up to get it. So if there are no obstacles to voluntary exchange, that is, if transaction costs are low, property rights will end up in the hands of the person who values them the most, a result economists call an efficient allocation of the rights. What happens when there are barriers that impede or prevent property rights from reaching their highest valuing owner through exchange? Can the law assign property rights to achieve efficient allocation in such cases? Should it try, or are there values other than efficient allocation the law might try to advance, along with or instead of efficient allocation, in assigning property rights?...
Reading
5 videos (Total 103 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video5 videos
Posner's Corollary20m
Stacks of Flax17m
A Hundred LeRoys20m
Owning History24m
Reading1 reading
Suggested Readings10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Exchange and Efficiency20m
Week
3
Hours to complete
3 hours to complete

Externality

Exchange involves both benefit and cost – traders take rights from others, imposing costs on them but creating benefit for themselves, but they must compensate the others for their costs by paying for the rights they've taken. External costs are imposed when one person takes another's rights without paying for them, which leads to the taker taking more rights than efficient allocation would allow and leaves the victim uncompensated for the costs of losing the rights. The law's response to this inefficiency and injustice is liability, forcing those who take rights without payment to compensate those whose rights they have taken for the costs they have borne. Thinking about how the law determines these liability prices, and how people might respond to them, reveals the underlying economic logic of liability....
Reading
6 videos (Total 144 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video6 videos
Markets for Goods27m
Markets for Bads22m
Liability31m
Pigou and Voltaire21m
Internal Policing22m
Reading1 reading
Suggested Readings10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Externality36m
Week
4
Hours to complete
4 hours to complete

Crime and Punishment

Some externalities involve only a few uncompensated losers of rights whose costs are easily reckoned in monetary terms, so that forcing the taker to pay exactly these costs to the victims ensures both that victims will be fairly compensated and that takers will take rights only where they value the rights more than the losers do. The law calls these externalities torts, and the same principle of liability pricing extends to crimes, in which, with the same unlawful act, someone simultaneously takes the rights of many people who suffer moral costs that can't be satisfactorily measured by money. As with torts, some crimes may be efficient reallocations of rights, and the logic of liability shows that proportional punishment can, ideally, discover which crimes are or are not efficient and force all takers to compensate their victims in full for what they take....
Reading
8 videos (Total 178 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video8 videos
Torts24m
The Costs of Crimes23m
Organized Vengeance23m
Efficient Crimes24m
One Crime at a Time10m
Pricing Crimes29m
A Certain Kind of Justice21m
Reading1 reading
Suggested Readings10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Crime and Punishment40m

Instructor

Avatar

Richard Adelstein

Professor
Department of Economics

About Wesleyan University

At Wesleyan, distinguished scholar-teachers work closely with students, taking advantage of fluidity among disciplines to explore the world with a variety of tools. The university seeks to build a diverse, energetic community of students, faculty, and staff who think critically and creatively and who value independence of mind and generosity of spirit. ...

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

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