Two Culture Problems in Law and Economics

48 Pages Posted: 15 May 2011 Last revised: 26 May 2011

Date Written: May 13, 2011


This Essay briefly reviews where law and economics has been, and then sets out important problems it now faces. My primary theme is that law and economics faces two culture problems: between scholars who self- identify as being in a field - contracts, torts - and who do not use economics in their work and scholars who self- identify as being in the same field but who do; and between "field scholars" and technically trained scholars who are not in any particular legal field, but who rather look for problems their techniques can solve. The second problem seems easier to ameliorate than the first. Both law and economics types make less progress with implementation issues than they should because they do not access the insights that rational actor political science can yield, a third two culture problem that seems easier to solve than the others.

Suggested Citation

Schwartz, Alan, Two Culture Problems in Law and Economics (May 13, 2011). University of Illinois Law Review, Forthcoming; Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 432. Available at SSRN:

Alan Schwartz (Contact Author)

Yale Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States
203-432-4030 (Phone)
203-432-8260 (Fax)

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