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Law and Psychology

Happiness

2009

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How The New Economics Can Improve Employment Discrimination Law, And How Economics Can Survive The Demise Of The Rational Actor, Scott A. Moss, Peter H. Huang Jan 2009

How The New Economics Can Improve Employment Discrimination Law, And How Economics Can Survive The Demise Of The Rational Actor, Scott A. Moss, Peter H. Huang

Articles

Much employment discrimination law is premised on a purely money-focused "reasonable" employee, the sort who can be made whole with damages equal to lost wages, and who does not hesitate to challenge workplace discrimination. This type of "rational" actor populated older economic models but has been since modified by behavioral economics and research on happiness. Behavioral and traditional economists alike have analyzed broad employment policies, such as the wisdom of discrimination statutes, but the devil is in the details of employment law. On the critical damages-and-liability issues the Supreme Court and litigators face regularly, the law essentially ignores the lessons ...