Scholars from Nine Leading Universities Gather for Conference on Theoretical Law and Economics

Scholars from nine leading universities recently presented works-in-progress at the law school’s Conference on Theoretical Law and Economics. Hosted by the Center on Law, Innovation & Economic Growth (CLIEG), the unique conference was designed to link scholars by method rather than legal topic. 

“Each paper modeled some aspect of the legal system,” says Gerrit De Geest, CLIEG director and professor of law. “The list of presenters was purposely kept small to facilitate intensive discussion on the scholarship of other law and economics scholars working with similar theoretical models.”

The conference opened with a welcome from Dean Kent Syverud, followed by scholarly presentations. Presenters and topics included: 

  • Ken Ayotte, Northwestern University, “Subsidiary Entities and the Innovator’s Dilemma”;  
  • Adam Badawi, Washington University, “Reputation and Forfeiture Rules”; 
  • Gary Biglaiser, University of North Carolina, and Scott Baker, Washington University, “A Model of Minimalism and Cause Lawyering”; 
  • Albert Choi, University of Virginia, “How Bargaining Power Affects Non-Price Terms in Contracts,” (co-author George Triantis); 
  • Andrew Daughety and Jennifer Reinganum, both from Vanderbilt University, “Search, Bargaining, and Agency in the Market for Legal Services”; 
  • Gerrit De Geest, Washington University, “Overcoming Theoretical Indeterminacy”; 
  • Nuno Garoupa, University of Illinois, “Do Exclusionary Rules Convict the Innocent?,” (co-authors Dhammika  Dharmapala and Richard McAdams); 
  • Claudia Landeo, Yale University, and Kathy Spier, Harvard University, “Contracts as a Barrier to Entry: An Experimental Study of Exclusive Dealing with Stipulated Damages”;  
  • Alan Schwartz, Yale University, “Long-Term Contracting with Private Information,” (co-author T. Lewis); and 
  • Abe Wickelgren, University of Texas, “Anti-Competitive Exclusion and Market Division  through Loyalty Discounts,” (co-author Einer Elhauge). 

“The conference successfully brought together some of the top scholars in theoretical law and economics,” says Baker, professor of law and conference organizer. “The day and a half of presentations drew thoughtful, lively discussions on a full range of complex topics, from the costs and benefits of the exclusionary rule, to the role of long term contracting in facilitating investment, to the choice between setting up a business as a corporation filled out by a bunch of divisions or a corporation filled out by bunch of wholly-owned subsidiaries.

CLIEG generates and supports faculty research in the areas of law and economics, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Located within the law school, the interdisciplinary center serves the entire Washington University community.


By Timothy Fox