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date: 13 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the relevance of prosocial behavior to law. It begins by tracing the history of the homo economicus model of human behavior, its role in contemporary behavioral law and economics, and why the concept of utility does not solve the problem of the model. It then looks at the emergence of a behavioral economics approach to human behavior that incorporates the empirical reality of prosociality without undermining the predictive power of economic analysis. It also discusses the empirical methodology known as experimental gaming, focusing on the application of three experimental games—the social dilemma game, dictator game, and ultimatum game—to study when and how people will act prosocially. In particular, the article considers three basic lessons about human behavior offered by the social dilemma game, ultimatum game, and dictator game. In addition, it explores how prosocial behavior influences regulation, negligence rules, and contracting, along with corporate law. The chapter concludes by stressing the value of incorporating prosocial behavior into the analysis of legal and policy problems.

Keywords: prosocial behavior, behavioral law, homo economicus, human behavior, behavioral economics, prosociality, economic analysis, experimental gaming, contracting, corporate law

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