Following the demonstration, in Chapter 6, of the correspondence between loss aversion and certain fundamental characteristics of the law, this chapter hypothesizes about the possible mechanisms behind this correspondence. It develops an evolutionary theory that draws, in part, on the “efficiency of the common law” theory. As legal norms have evolved out of disputes, and as people find losses more painful than unobtained gains, they file lawsuits for recovery of losses far more often than for unobtained gains. Consequently, legal doctrines dealing with losses have evolved to a much greater extent than those dealing with unobtained gains.
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