May 05, 2006
ALEA Report: Trends
Posted by Fred Tung

In addition to lots of corporate papers, the trend at ALEA seems to be--based on my casual empiricism after the first day--away from pure math papers and more toward empirical and experimental (surprise, surprise!).  I saw lots of regressions and a few experiments, a few theory papers with a little math, but no presentations with just equations, which seems a contrast from my past ALEAs.  At the end of the day, I had a conversation with Dean Lueck from Arizona.  He observed that more and more law and economics is being done in law schools, as opposed to economics departments, as JD/PhDs become more common and seem now more likely to wind up in law schools.  And economics departments seem to be ceding the territory--and the recruiting of law and econ scholars--to the law schools.  He suggested--and this must be right--that this changes the way law and economics is done.  The institutional pressures, constraints, and expectations must be different as between law schools and econ departments.  The work product is now generally more heavily influenced by law school norms, customs, and expectations than those of econ departments.  Perhaps this explains the change in emphasis--if I have correctly identified one--at ALEA.

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