Law and Economics: Theoretical and Practical Dimensions of Interdisciplinarity

November 9, 2017 - November 10, 2017
TINT, Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence for the Philosophy of the Social Sciences, University of Helsinki


This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities

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Péter Cserne
University of Hull
Magdalena Malecka
University of Helsinki

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On behalf of the interdisciplinary academic network MetaLawEcon, TINT (Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences) in cooperation with the Law Faculty of the University of Helsinki, will organise a workshop on ‘Law and Economics: Theoretical and Practical Dimensions of Interdisciplinarity’. The workshop invites contributions from various disciplines, including law, economics, philosophy, psychology, and behavioural sciences.

The status of economics as a scientific discipline has been debated throughout the history of economic thought. This discussion has been prompted by, and focused on, the “unrealisticness” of economic theories and models, and the classical distinction between economics as positive science, normative science, and art. Legal scholarship has also faced debates about the nature of epistemic projects that evolved within it. It appears that the practical orientation of legal doctrine, as well as the normative character of law, pose a challenge for studying law in a “scientific” way.   

Law and Economics as an interdisciplinary field of research has not only inherited these epistemological controversies, but has added a new layer of questions associated with the knowledge claims of the two disciplines. For instance, it has provoked questions about the interplay of epistemic and non-epistemic factors that influence interdisciplinary exchange between and/or integration of legal scholarship and economics. 

This workshop will reflect on the epistemic challenges met by attempts to employ economics in the study law as well as to invoke law in the study of the economy within various approaches of Law and Economics. We invite contributions to elaborate on these issues and their proposed resolutions. Questions that can be addressed include but are not restricted to the following:

·         In what sense is (this or that version of) Law and Economics a theoretical or a practical enterprise?

·         Is Law and Economics a form of economic imperialism? And should lawyers and legal scholars be worried about it?

·         What type of interdisciplinary interactions does Law and Economics involve?

·         What are the key concepts for describing the varieties of Law and Economics? Does it still make sense to distinguish between Chicago, Yale and Virginia Schools of Law and Economics?

·         How can economic research contribute to the scientific study of positive law or the development of legal theory and practice? In which areas of law is this contribution likely to be important?

·         How does or should economic theory relate to legal concepts like rule, norm, obligation, sanction, etc.?

·         How can legal research contribute to the development of economic theory and practice?

·         How does or should legal theory relate to the analysis and the use of economic concepts such as efficiency, market failure, incomplete contract, incentive, etc.?

·         What type of knowledge would the efficiency hypothesis of common law, if warranted, produce?

There will be no participation fee charged for the workshop. Participants should make their own travel and accommodation arrangements.

If you want to present a paper, please submit an abstract of about 500 words for consideration to the organisers, Magdalena Małecka ( and Peter Cserne (   

Deadline for abstract submission: 1st September

Notification of acceptance: 15th September

Deadline for draft paper for circulation in advance of the workshop: 1st November 

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September 1, 2017, 11:00pm EET

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