Submitted by Tomasz Mielniczuk on Tue, 02/02/2016 - 14:47

Here is a footage of judge Guido Calabresi (Yale Law School) discussing his life and his new book The Future of Law and Economics: Essays in Reform and Recollection. The event took place on February 1, 2016 at the National Constitution Center.

The discussion, moderated by Michael J. Gerhardt (the University of North Carolina School of Law), is more a collection of anecdotes than a book presentation.

Some gems from the lecture:

  • he started as a penniless immigrant and knowing only three words in English ("yes", "no", and "briefcase") (13:50)
  • Some thoughts on risk distribution in Law of Torts was written as a student piece to get into Yale Law Journal. The editors did not like it and refused to publish it. He made the law review, though. (14:20)
  • "Chicago is not just a geographical place - it's a state of mind" (23:35)
  • he makes a distinction between "economic analysis of law" and "law and economics" claiming that Coase and him did the latter (31:00)  (This is, as I understand, the main argument made in the book. He criticizes "economic analysis of law", which he traces back to Jeremy Bentham, as relying too much on abstract theory and not accounting for practical considerations. He advocates the approach of the other strain, "law and economics", which he identifies as a more realistic and less theoretical discipline that gives "equal status to law.")
  • he likes to think that he was a behavioral economist before there were behavioral economists (45:00)
  • "a judge is not a simple theorist" (48:20)
  • something like torts may not be a bad framework for regulating gun control (1:00)
  • he describes the most difficult case he decided as a judge (1:09)