Research Handbook on Behavioral Law and Economics
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Research Handbook on Behavioral Law and Economics

Edited by Joshua C. Teitelbaum and Kathryn Zeiler

The field of behavioral economics has contributed greatly to our understanding of human decision making by refining neoclassical assumptions and developing models that account for psychological, cognitive, and emotional forces. The field’s insights have important implications for law. This Research Handbook offers a variety of perspectives from renowned experts on a wide-ranging set of topics including punishment, finance, tort law, happiness, and the application of experimental literatures to law. It also includes analyses of conceptual foundations, cautions, limitations and proposals for ways forward.
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Chapter 11: Trust and the law

Benjamin Ho and David Huffman

Abstract

Understanding the nature of trust has substantial implications for thinking about the economics of law. In this chapter the authors consider the interaction between laws and trust. They pursue this inquiry by looking at the growth of the behavioral economics and organizational economics literatures. After describing a model of trust, the authors review results on the relationship between trust and growth from the development and macroeconomics empirical literatures. The chapter then turns to evidence from experiments that shed light on mechanisms that may link trust and the law and help us understand why in some circumstances they may be complementary and in others substitutes. The authors draw some preliminary conclusions about the factors that might contribute to explaining complementarity of trust and the law at the macro level. The chapter ends with a discussion of some specific laws, and how these interact with trust.

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