Exchange: The Behavioral Economics of Consumer Contracts

By Oren Bar-Gill. Full text here.

In the past decade, behavioral economics has established itself as a contender to the throne of neoclassical economics in the economic analysis of law. The pros and cons of behavioral as compared to neoclassical economics have been vigorously debated at the general, methodology level. But the success or failure of the behavioral challenge will be judged by its ability to improve upon neoclassical economics—both descriptively and prescriptively—in specific legal applications. Consumer contracts provide an important test case for behavioral economics. In this Exchange, we offer the first comprehensive debate between the behavioral and neoclassical perspectives as applied to the law and economics of consumer contracts.