Quotation Frerichs, Sabine. 2022. Putting Behavioural Economics in Its Place: The New Realism of Law, Economics and Psychology and Its Alternatives. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly. 42 (4), 651-681.




The behavioural turn in economics has spilled over into the field of law and economics. Some scholars even consider behavioural economics a variety of new legal realism, invoking earlier efforts to promote law as a behavioural and social science. In fact, behavioural economics works towards more realistic assumptions about human behaviour by drawing on empirical research methods, namely economic experiments. However, not all realisms are alike. Much of the mainstream of behavioural economics is inspired by cognitive psychology, which entails a move from behaviour to cognition and, ultimately, to brains. For scholars with a socio-legal background, legal realism rather points in the opposite direction: to the social contexts and institutional frameworks that shape individual behaviour. By exploring alternative options for a new realism at the intersection of law, economics, and related disciplines, this article exposes the relative neglect of institutions in behavioural economics and the tendency to reduce them to a corrective for cognitive biases in applications to law. At the same time, it provides a broad overview of different varieties of realism next to behavioural-economic ones.


Press 'enter' for creating the tag

Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly
Language English
Title Putting Behavioural Economics in Its Place: The New Realism of Law, Economics and Psychology and Its Alternatives
Volume 42
Number 4
Year 2022
Page from 651
Page to 681
Reviewed? Y
URL https://nilq.qub.ac.uk/index.php/nilq/article/view/920
DOI http://doi.org/10.53386/nilq.v72i4.920
Open Access N


Frerichs, Sabine (Details)
Institute for Sociology and Social Research IN (Details)
Research areas (Ă–STAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5402 General sociology (Details)
5415 Economic sociology (Details)
5430 Sociology of law (Details)
5511 Social psychology (Details)
Google Scholar: Search