Volume 77, Number 1

April 2002

The Difficult Path from Observation to Prescription

Samuel Issacharoff

While the law of the American workplace presumes that the market for employment operates as formal economic theory would predict, it would be difficult to find an area of law where the governing conceptual model is at such disjuncture from the law as applied. Professor Samuel Issacharoff argues that behavioral law and economics is the latest model that attempts to explain this disjuncture. However, he provides two cautions to the application of this model. First, he notes that the empirical observations that this model offers are amenable to conflicting interpretations and thus possess a limited ability to offer reliable generalizations. Additionally, he explains that even if the empirical foundations were solidified, empiricism itself does not generate normative conclusions.