The Future of Law and Economics Part 2: Mathematics, Retailing L&E, and Detachment

In my previous post, I sketched out some trends in the Law & Economics movement in recent years. Specifically, I’ve focused on the trends towards increasing mathematical formality and specialization within economics as a stand alone discipline. The post triggered some thoughtful responses from Larry Solum and Larry Ribstein for which I am grateful. I also received a number of responses in private which asked, rather bluntly, “So what?” The point was that even if everything I claimed about trends in economics and L&E were true, perhaps the result would be L&E scholars being more detached from the legal academy and migrating to economics departments. Again, so what? L&E work would be getting done by somebody somewhere. More than one of these private responses included the observation that maybe L&E types should be in economics departments anyway where there are tougher tenure standards, peer review, and less pay.

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