Theories of Choice: The Social Science and the Law of Decision Making

Book by Stefan Grundmann and Philipp Hacker: “Choice is a key concept of our time. It is a foundational mechanism for every legal order in societies that are, politically, constituted as democracies and, economically, built on the market mechanism. Thus, choice can be understood as an atomic structure that grounds core societal processes. In recent years, however, the debate over the right way to theorise choice—for example, as a rational or a behavioural type of decision making—has intensified. This collection therefore provides an in-depth discussion of the promises and perils of specific types of theories of choice. It shows how the selection of a specific theory of choice can make a difference for concrete legal questions, in particularly in the regulation of the digital economy or in choosing between market, firm, or network.

In its first part, the volume provides an accessible overview of the current debates about rational versus behavioural approaches to theories of choice. The remainder of the book structures the vast landscape of theories of choice along three main types: individual, collective, and organisational decision making. As theories of choice proliferate and become ever more sophisticated, however, the process of choosing an adequate theory of choice becomes increasingly intricate, too. This volume addresses this selection problem for the various legal arenas in which individual, organisational, and collective decisions matter. By drawing on economic, technological, political, and legal points of view, the volume shows which theories of choice are at the disposal of the legally relevant decision maker, and how they can be implemented for the solution of concrete legal problems….(More)