Thursday, October 10, 2013

Off to MLEA

As soon as I'm done teaching Climate Law & Policy this afternoon, I'm off to Champaign-Urbana for the annual meeting of the Midwest Law & Economics Association at the University of Illinois College of Law. I'll be presenting a new paper, co-authored with Mike McGinnis and Graham Epstein, about the somewhat hidden institutional interactions that give rise to Garrett Hardin's "tragedy of the commons." To make a long story short, it's not just about (non)ownership the pasture - it's equally about ownership of the cows and the institutions governing what happens to the grass when the cows consume it. We'll probably be posting the paper soon on SSRN.

I've been attending MLEA pretty regularly since the inaugural conference 12 years ago. It's the only law & econ conference I regularly attend because it's smaller, much friendlier, and less status-driven than national or "coastal" law and econ conferences. We attract plenty of top-notch senior scholars, but the relative friendliness of the conference also attracts lots of junior scholars, who really appreciate having the forum for presenting their works. And we "elder statesmen" inevitably learn a lot from them.

Anyway, this conference is chock full of interesting-looking papers. You can download the schedule here.


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