Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637| Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Chicago School of Law and Economics
Steven G. Medema
The history of law and economics at the University of Chicago begins well before the 1960s birth of the “new” law and economics, or “economic analysis of law,” that is now synonymous with the “Chicago School.” The story actually begins in the latter part of the 1930s, when the law school instituted a four-year curriculum that included courses in economics, accounting, and other subjects outside of the traditional realm of legal training. The law faculty overtly linked this curriculum to the legal realist tradition, which placed a strong emphasis on the social sciences, including economics. In 1939, the law school appointed its first economist, Henry Simons (1889–1946), to staff the economics courses that were part of the new curriculum. Simons was ultimately best known for his work in monetary theory and, as Ronald Coase noted, “played little or no part in the development of the ideas which make up the ...