“Law and economics can be identified today as the dominant academic discipline in understanding the rule of law in the United States and, increasingly, around the world. It informs—directs—obvious economic areas such as antitrust, regulation, and corporate organization but also all other areas of law: torts, contracts, property, and environmental law, among many others. Law and economic concepts also inform vast areas of governmental activity.” — George L. Priest, Edward J. Phelps Professor of Law and Economics, Yale Law School, The Rise of Law and Economics: An Intellectual History (2020).

Laws are designed as incentives to influence human behavior and promote social goals, and economics provides powerful tools for understanding the impacts and effects of laws and legal decisions on incentives. As such, it is imperative that the public servants who create and shape laws understand economic concepts and methods. The Law & Economics Center fills that need.

The mission of the LEC is to serve as a nexus for research and education focused on economic analysis of the legal and public policy issues. Since its inception in 1974, the LEC has sponsored timely, relevant research on public policy matters and communicated research findings to those who shape policy decisions.

The LEC is committed to developing original, high-quality law and economics research and education programs that enhance economic understanding and provide a consistent, rational voice that bolsters policy discussions.


For almost 50 years, the Law & Economics Center has trained federal and state judges, state attorneys general, law professors, and other policy makers in economics, finance, accounting, statistics, and scientific methodology.

Our education programs have reached an unparalleled audience of esteemed policymakers, practitioners, and scholars. To date, over 5,000 federal judges and state court judges representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia, including four current U.S. Supreme Court Justices, have participated in at least one of the LEC’s education programs. Our programs have hosted nearly 1,000 state attorneys general and senior AG staff lawyers, and thousands of other legal professionals.