Scott A. Baker

Professor of Law; Professor of Economics 


B.A., 1994, Miami University
J.D., 2000, University of Chicago
Ph.D., 2001, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Curriculum Vitae




Nancy Cummings- (314) 935-7967

Phone / Email

Phone: (314) 935-9823
Email: sbaker@wulaw.wustl.edu  


Anheuser-Busch Hall, Room 571

Courses Taught

Game Theory & the Law


Professor Scott Baker is a prolific and widely-respected law and economics scholar. His research interests lie at the intersection of law, economics, and game theory. He tackles a wide range of topics from judicial performance to the structure of law firms to problems in patent law. His co-authored works appear in the Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Legal Studies, Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, and the Journal of Legal Analysis as well as numerous law reviews.  In the fall of 2012, he served as a Becker-Friedman fellow at the University of Chicago.  He is the recipient of a Tilburg University grant for studies in the law and economics of innovation. Before joining the faculty in 2009, Professor Baker was a professor of law and economics at the University of North Carolina, where he served as associate dean for faculty affairs and received the McCall Award for Law School Teacher of the Year. After graduating from law school, he obtained his Ph.D. in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Professor Baker clerked for the Hon. E. Grady Jolly, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Representative Publications

Recent Articles

  • "Appellate Law-Making in a Judicial Hierarchy," 58 Journal of Law & Economics (2015) (w/ A. Badawi)
  • "A Model of Cause Lawyering," 43 Journal of Legal Studies 37 (2014) (w/ G. Biglaiser)
  • "Contract's Role in Relational Contracts" (w/ A. Choi), 101 Virginia Law Review Review 559 (2015).
  • "A Dynamic Model of Doctrinal Choice" (with P. Kim), 4 Journal of Legal Analysis 329 (2012) [SSRN]
  • "A Theory of Rational Jurisprudence" (with C. Mezzetti), 120 Journal of Political Economy 513 (2012) [SSRN]
  • "Intellectual Property Disclosure as 'Threat'" (with P. Lee & C. Mezzetti), 7 International Journal of Economic Theory 21 (2011) (symposium in honor of Jim Friedman)
  • "Can the Courts Rescue Us from the Patent Crisis?," 88 Texas Law Review 591 (2010) (book review)
  • "Comment: Make or Buy and International Law" (with M. Gulati), 165 Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics 134 (2009) 
  • "The Continuing Search for a Meaningful Model of Judical Rankings and Why It (Unfortunately) Matters" (with A. Feibelman and W. Marshall), 58 Duke Law Journal 1645 (2009)
  • "Justices as Economic Fixers: A Response to a 'A Macro-Theory of the Court'" (with A. Feibelman and W. Marshall), 58 Duke Law Journal 1626 (2009)

Research Datasets

  • Data and Programs, "Should We Pay Federal Circuit Judges More?"
    NOTE:  The posted datasets resolve some discrepancies in the original datasets without consequence for the basic opportunity cost/salary findings. Specifically, using this partnership salary data and a three percent discount rate, I found no evidence consistent with a constitutional crisis (assuming in the pool analysis that the nominee takes the bench at average age 49). Robustness checks based on regional, but partner-seniority independent variation in law firm partnership salaries yielded similar results.  [view]

  • Data and Accompanying Materials, "The Economics of Limited Liability: An Empirical Study of New York Law Firms" (with K. Krawiec), 1 University of Illinois Law Review 2005  [view]

  • Model Appendix, "Incomplete Contracts in a Complete Contract World" (with K. Krawiec), Florida State Law Review (2006) [view]


Recent Presentations 

  • Yale Political Science Department
  • UNC Department of Economics
  • USC law and economics workshop
  • University of Texas law and economics workshop
  • NYU law, politics,and economics workshop
  • Vanderbilt conference on theoretical law and economics (presented a paper and commented on papers by Professors Kornhauser and Caneron)
  • University of Illinois law conference in honor of the life of Larry Ribstein

Upcoming Presentations 

  • Columbia law workshop on contract theory
  • UVA Law School