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Law, Psychology, and MoralityThe Role of Loss Aversion$
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Eyal Zamir

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199972050

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199972050.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 01 August 2021

Evolutionary Theories

Evolutionary Theories

(p.167) 7 Evolutionary Theories
Law, Psychology, and Morality

Eyal Zamir

Oxford University Press

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.

Keywords:   common law efficiency, common law evolution, loss aversion, unobtained gains, recovery of losses, evolutionary theory, legal norms

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