Why would law students benefit from studying economics? Three reasons come to mind. First, knowing some economics should enable students to understand more fully the issues encountered in a variety of areas of the law. Second, in a variety of areas of the law, economic analysis constitutes a central component of the legal arguments made in prosecuting and defending the case. Third, many law students will become involved in policy-making, whether because they end up working in the executive branch of government or because they become legislators, lobbyists, or legislative staff.

In the following sections, I treat each of the three points in greater detail, providing examples of the use and abuse of economic analysis.