Law & Economic Development

Course description

The course introduces key law and economics analyses of property rights. The students are expected to learn how to analyze the evolution and impact of property rights from an economic point of view and, in general, how law is built into a formal model. From a policy viewpoint moreover, the students will learn how to critically evaluate the observed variation in property rights and propose possible reforms. The course is organized in three classes. In the first class, I will introduce the economic notions of “property and contracting institutions” and the related legal notions of “property, liability or inalienability rules” and of “legal traditions.” Moreover, I will detail the evidence on the single role of each of these institutional arrangements produced by a well-known literature considering them as exogenous. In the remaining classes, I will illustrate a new strand of literature analyzing the determinants of the extent of protection of private property and providing through their explicit consideration new conflicting evidence of the role of property rights. In the last class finally, I will discuss several avenues for further research and how the final essays should try to access them.

Teaching methods

Lecture-style instruction and problem-oriented learning through students' presentations of the topics object of their final essay.

Assessment methods

Each student is expected to write a 1500 words essay on a possible application of the models discussed in class. The proposal should highlight the relation with the course material, illustrate the institutional background, and detail the policy implication of the analysis. The paper should be sent to by 02/03/2018.