The University of Chicago Law School’s Institute for Law and Economics isn’t a year old, but already has received a significant financial boost.

The school on February 7 announced a $10 million endowment for the institute, $7.5 million of which came from Ellen and Richard Sandor, chairman and chief executive officer of Environmental Financial Products LLC. The company develops financial markets with a focus on the environmental management sector, and Sandor has been hailed for his work in establishing carbon trading.

Sandor is not an alumnus of the law school — he holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Minnesota — but made the donation in honor of professor emeritus Ronald Coase, who has been a leader in the law and economics movement since the 1930s. Sandor has lectured at the law school.

The institute is being renamed the Coase-Sandor Institute for Law and Economics.

"Professor Coase has had a profound impact in my career as an academic and a practitioner," Sandor said in announcing the gift. "His clarity of thought and intellectual honesty have been critical to my understanding of what it takes to create, build, and mature new markets. The importance of his work will continue to be felt in areas such as the environment, health, and entrepreneurship."

Coase has taught at the law school since 1964 and edited its Journal of Law and Economics for nearly 20 years.

"It is wonderful to know that after all these years and all the work that has been done, that ideas are still, and ever will be, paramount at Chicago," Coase said. "I am delighted that law and economics has a secure future at the law school, and cannot wait to see the new scholarship that comes from the institute."

The law school is recognized as the birthplace of law and economics, which is the application of economic methods to the world of law. The institute aims to promote the law-and-economics approach and further the understanding of transaction-cost economics and empirical analysis. In addition to hosting events and conferences, the institute supports faculty and student research.

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