Friday, 10 September 2010

Differing views on law and economics

Peter Klein writes at the Organizations and Markets blog:
Via Josh Wright, here’s an announcement for the Levy Fellowship at George Mason University School of Law. It’s a program to support PhD economists (and ABDs) pursuing law degrees. These days, a JD and a PhD are pretty much required for an academic post at a good law school, so check it out if you’re interested in teaching. After all, the world clearly needs more economists and more lawyers. . . .
Well both a law degree and economics degree may be pretty much required for an academic post in a good law school in the U.S. but not it seems here in New Zealand. In fact I have yet to see any real interest shown by any law school in New Zealand in law and economics. The only law and economics courses I know of are in economics departments. ECON327, for example, is a third year course on the Economic Analysis of Law offered in the economics department here at Canterbury. But very few law students seem to take it. What I don't get is why law schools here are so anti law and economics. After all as the Klein posting makes clear it is big business overseas. Why are our guys so far behind the times?


JiveKitty said...

Vic has Law and Economics (LAWS335/ECON330) which is co-taught: Not sure if that would count.

Samuel Konkin said...

Some discussion of the issue here:

He talks about how it is neglected in New Zealand

Samuel Konkin said...

Also, having done Law and Econ at Vic as a Law student, I noticed two things:

1) The materials were interesting but the lecturers seemed disinterested

2) Most law students found the way of thinking to be completely at odds with ordinary law courses (which is half the point I think). Although I have never studied economics, I have read quite a bit of Friedman (David), Posner, etc., so the method of thinking was fun rather than weird.

Eric Crampton said...

1. Law here is an undergrad degree, so the students would be less likely to have had prior exposure to econ - some will do their JD after a BA in Econ.

2. Antitrust law isn't the same cash cow here as in the states - law & econ is a derived demand.

3. Much of the NZ law academy is ideologically opposed to American approaches like law & econ or to the idea that there might be an external standard of evaluation for the law.