Public Choice Theory

“Public Choice Theory” models group decision-making assuming that those involved in the decision vote according to their rational self interest. This course will study some of the basic conclusions of that theory for voting generally, and then apply the theory to analyze the decision-making by Congress and the federal courts. Finally, the course will apply the theory to particular legal constructs, such as legislative intent, standing, and federalism. Students will be responsible for leading discussion on readings for one class period, writing a paper on a topic of their choice involving the application of public choice theory to law, and presenting their paper to the remainder of the class. Prerequisites: None