Thursday, February 20, 2014
Have you heard of the Law & Economics Center Workshops for Law Professors? These four-day workshops are held throughout the year, throughout the country (with an emphasis on great locales to visit, such as the Florida Keys; Steamboat Springs, CO; and Palo Alto, CA), and are designed to foster a better understanding of law & economics.
I recently attended the LEC Workshop on Risk, Injury, Liability & Insurance held January 30th to February 2nd at Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key in Florida. Lodging and most meals were covered by the LEC. Many of the participants were alumni of other LEC workshops and thus knowledgeable about basic law and economics principles, though a handful (including myself) had only engaged peripherally in the topic. Faculty presenters were Henry Butler, Executive Director of the LEC; Jonathan Klick (Penn), and Eric Helland (Claremont McKenna).
Broadly speaking, the goal of these workshops is to introduce the participants to law and economics thinking on the particular topic. Our workshop focused on the economics of uncertainty and risk, and how that translated to legal concepts in insurance and tort law. Despite the variety in background knowledge levels among participants, the teaching was very accessible and at the same time sophisticated and engaging. Discussions focused on problems of adverse selection, moral hazard, and external costs. I definitely gained a better understanding of the economics of risk, and I benefited tremendously from both the assigned readings (voluminous but thoughtfully selected), and instruction.
The Law & Economics Center deserves its outstanding reputation. I highly recommend the LEC Workshops to anyone with a passing interest in law and economics.