Behavior and Business Law Conference

Date(s) of Conference:

October 2, 2010


The University of Tennessee
College of Law
Clayton Center for Entrepreneurial Law
Suite 202
1505 W. Cumberland Ave.
Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-1810


The recent financial crisis has prompted policymakers in the U.S. and abroad to reexamine some basic assumptions of a market economy. In reexamining these assumptions, policymakers are studying the findings of one of the hottest topics within academia: behavioral studies.

This emerging field of research uses facts and methods from the social sciences, such as psychology and sociology, to better understand how people behave across social and business settings in terms of decision-making, willpower, and motivation.

This conference will consider the implications of behavioral studies in four key areas:

  • First, we will look at how behavioral economics can be applied to corporate and securities law. Business associations have cultures and exhibit behaviors as participants in society. How can laws and informal norms affect the behavior of business associations and their constituents?
  • Next we will consider how behavioral research can aid in resolving disputes, where emotions can often play an important role.
  • After lunch with law professor and Instapundit blogger Glenn Reynolds, we will consider the role of behavioral economics in consumer protection. Do people act contrary to their longterm interests, and, if so, should the law protect them or is that too paternalistic?
  • Finally, we will consider an issue that has vexed philosophers and theologians for centuries: What makes us happy in business and law?

Each workshop features an academic paper with commentary by other panelists and the audience participants. The scholars participating in the conference come from a variety of institutions and fields of interest.

Contact Information:



Comments are closed.