Many legal scholars have critiqued the dominant law and economics paradigm. However, important work is all too often neglected because it is not popularized in an accessible form. This Article features experts who synthesize their key insights into memorable and concise vignettes. Our 11 Things project is inspired by the work of the Cambridge economist Ha-Joon Chang, who distilled many facets of his work into a book called 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism. That book was a runaway success, translated for markets around the globe, because it challenged conventional economic reasoning with a series of short and memorable analyses and narratives that translated academic research into accessible language. A project like Chang’s can also inform economic analysis of law. We believe that law and economics pedagogy would benefit from a shift in focus. Scholars are developing increasingly data-driven and empirical research, while too many casebooks and teaching approaches covering the first-year U.S. law school curriculum remain mired in toy models and simplistic accounts of economic life. This Article features critical insights that “they” (politicians, bureaucrats, and, all too frequently, first-year professors and casebook authors) tend to neglect in their understanding of commercial life. Each piece critically explores a facet of the theoretical foundations of law and economics. They connect contemporary developments in policy research to classical economic analysis of law. They bridge the gap between scholarship and pedagogy, introducing students, practitioners, and policymakers to political economy as a vital alternative in policy analysis.
Eleven Things They Don’t Tell You About Law & Economics: An Informal Introduction to Political Economy and Law, 37(1) Law & Ineq. (2019),