Law and Economics: Contemporary Approaches

11 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2016 Last revised: 20 Aug 2016

See all articles by Martha T. McCluskey

Martha T. McCluskey

University at Buffalo Law School

Frank Pasquale

Cornell Law School; Cornell Tech

Jennifer Taub

Western New England University School of Law

Date Written: August 13, 2016


A relatively narrow version of Law and Economics has dominated public policy for several decades. This school of thought has mainly focused on neoclassical microeconomics. It fails to recognize the pluralism of contemporary economics in general, and the relevance of macroeconomics in particular. So-called “market forces” are thoroughly intertwined with law and cannot be understood without some reference to history, sociology, psychology, and other social sciences. It is time for legal scholars to develop a law and economics curriculum that catches up with the advance of economics as a discipline.

The urgent challenges of the 21st Century also call for a new Law and Economics. Solutions to problems such as extreme inequality, climate change, deindustrialization, infrastructure deterioration, underdevelopment, and financial instability will depend on deepening understandings of how economics is interrelated with complex legal rules and legal institutions. Lawyers with a more advanced and nuanced understanding of economics will be far better poised to help solve these problems than those lulled into thinking that simple neoclassicism reflects all that economics can offer to law.

A new casebook, developed by the Association for the Promotion of Political Economy and Law, will reflect these concerns. The attached piece, written in response to Yale Law School’s Conference on Law & Inequality, describes the scope and aims of the casebook project. Martha McCluskey, Frank Pasquale, Jennifer Taub, and Faith Stevelman will be editing the casebook, to be compiled from contributions from leading scholars focusing on their substantive areas of expertise.

Suggested Citation

McCluskey, Martha T. and Pasquale, Frank A. and Taub, Jennifer, Law and Economics: Contemporary Approaches (August 13, 2016). Yale Law & Policy Review, Forthcoming, U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-05, SUNY Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-014, Available at SSRN:

Martha T. McCluskey

University at Buffalo Law School ( email )

O'Brian Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100
United States
716-645-2326 (Phone)
716-645-2064 (Fax)

Frank A. Pasquale (Contact Author)

Cornell Law School ( email )

Myron Taylor Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853

Cornell Tech ( email )

111 8th Avenue #302
New York, NY 10011
United States

Jennifer Taub

Western New England University School of Law ( email )

1215 Wilbraham Road
Springfield, MA 01119
United States

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