Jones v. Harris and Some Ramblings on Burdens of Proof, Empirical Evidence, and Behavioral Law and Economics

Truth on the Market

Much has been made about the importance of Jones v. Harris as a battle in the ongoing war between behavioral economics  and rational choice/neoclassical framework (see, e.g. the NYT).   If the case if to be about the appropriate economic methodology or model for assessing legal questions, it is definitely an interesting turn to have Judge Easterbrook representing the rational choice economists while Judge Posner (who is simultaneously taking some flack for fast and loose and incorrect uses of macroeconomics) defends the behavioral view, considering that the latter wrote an important critique of the behavioral law and economics literature (here is an excellent summary of Posner’s opinion from Professor Birdthistle).  Professor Ribstein frames the issue of Jones v. Harris and the New Paternalism nicely with a prediction:

I suspect that in this day and age the Supreme Court will side with Posner. Such a decision would be a…

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