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Chicago School of Law and Economics

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.

Henry Simons

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 ...

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