Law & Markets Volume Is Out!

Al Roth with Taboo Trades seminar, March 23, 2016

I’ve posted a few times about the Duke Project on Law and Markets (see here, here, and here), which was led last year by Joseph Blocher and me. Like the Custom and Law Project that preceded it, this Project culminated in an edited volume, published this time by Law & Contemporary Problems.

Those wanting a more detailed description of the Project and papers in the volume can read the Foreword, but here’s a taste:

We started the Law and Markets Project at Duke Law School in the summer of 2015 in an effort to better understand the relationship between the legal system on the one hand and markets on the other. That relationship is central to understanding the nature and practical impact of legal rules, the degree to which those rules are shaped by economic forces, and the ways in which law and markets should or can operate independently. Further, it inevitably raises foundational and difficult questions. What are (or should be) the limits of markets? When, and through what mechanisms, should the law restrict the free exchange of goods and services? To what extent, and how, should the legal system address market driven inequalities in income, wealth, or access to goods and services like health care and education?

By addressing these questions, we hoped to generate interesting conversations that would deepen people’s understandings of their own and each other’s work and set the stage for collaboration going forward. We chose to focus our efforts on the Duke community, so as to help build those conversations and relationships. Given our colleagues’ broad and deep substantive and methodological expertise, this hardly felt like a limitation.

* * *

We held a symposium in early May 2016, the proceedings of which are collected in this issue. Duke faculty authored or co-authored all of the pieces, and the breadth of the topics demonstrates some of the many facets of the relationship between law and markets—from the sale (and tax treatment of) body parts to moral economies in the early Chinese land market; from the supply and demand of anticorruption enforcement to evaluating financial regulation; from markets and the environment to markets for sovereignty itself.

The volume table of contents are below, and the papers can all be downloaded here. The photos throughout this post are highlights from the Project’s workshop and reading groups, which are described in prior posts: here, here, and here.

I’ll be back in due course with more to say about my contribution to the volume, coauthored with Wenhao Liu (Stanford University, Department of Management Science & Engineering; Strategic Decisions Group International) and Marc Melcher (Stanford University, Department of Surgery): Contract Development in a Matching Market: The Case of Kidney Exchange.

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