The University of Chicago Law School is taking its teachings on the intersection of law and economics global with a new summer program for international scholars and policy makers.
The school's Institute for Law and Economics, launched last fall, this month will host a two-week program covering "Property Rights and Private Law" for 75 professors, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and other legal scholars from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Administrators hope the program will introduce law-and-economics concepts into China's legal education system and help Chinese scholars interested in the field create their own support network, said Joseph Burton, the institute's executive director. Law-and-economics theories are still relatively unknown in China, Burton said, and the Asian Law and Economics Association has yet to establish a foothold there.
"We want to see law and economics given more prominence in China," Burton said.
For the summer program, scheduled to begin Monday, participants will study four areas of law: the economics of contract law; property and capital markets; property and public choices; and economic analysis of remedies. They will attend lectures by some of the law school's most prominent faculty members, including Judge Richard Posner, Eric Posner, former deans Douglas Baird and Saul Levmore, and Ronald Coase, who is recognized as one of the founders of the law-and-economics movement.
"It will look and feel like being in a pretty advanced law-and-economics course at the University of Chicago," Burton said. "The only difference is there won't be exams."
While the law school has sponsored international exchanges and conferences before, the sheer scope of the program will set it apart, Burton said. The school received more than 300 applications from Chinese scholars hoping to participate.
The institute plans to hold a similar program each summer with an eye to recruiting scholars from India, Brazil and possibly Mexico, Burton said. Organizers plan to focus on countries undergoing legal reform, in hopes that law-and-economics theory can play a role in the reformation process.