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Ph.D. Program in Law & Economics

Dual-degree students pursue a Ph.D. in law and economics and a J.D. concurrently in a fully integrated law and economics curriculum. The program is based in the Law School. Students are fully funded by a competitive package of fellowship support covering tuition and stipend for both degrees.

Our principal fields include law and economics, risk and environmental regulation, labor markets and human resources, and behavioral law and economics.

The Ph.D. Program in Law and Economics was featured in the Summer 2015 edition of Vanderbilt Law Magazine. Program co-directors, Joni Hersch and W. Kip Viscusi, and program graduate, Caroline Cecot, were interviewed for the article, available here.


Research Highlights

On July 20, 2017 Professor W. Kip Viscusi presented his keynote address, "Pricing Lives," at the Economic Society of Australia 2017 Annual Conference of Economists in Sydney, Australia. His presentation was based on his forthcoming Princeton University Press book, Pricing Lives: Guideposts for a Safer Society

Professor Paige Marta Skiba and 2017 graduate Jean Xiao's paper "Consumer Litigation Funding: Just Another Form of Payday Lending?" was published in June 2017 in Law and Contemporary Problems. 

Professor Joni Hersch and Professor Jennifer Bennett Shinall's article, "Something to Talk About: Information Exchange Under Employment Law," was published in the December 2016 issue of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. This article provides the first ever evidence that concealing personal information lowers female applicants' hiring prospects and has received international media attention including New York TimesBloombergSlateNPR On PointThe Economic TimesDaily MailBusiness StandardBusiness News DailyGlamourMarie Claire, and Science Daily.

Professor Kathryn Anderson and 2017 Vanderbilt Economics graduate Kai Hong's paper "Do Selective High Schools Improve Student Achievement? Effects of Exam Schools in China." China Economic Review 40 (September 2016) 121-134. Doi: 10.1016/j.chieco.2016.06.002.

Professor Hersch and Professor Shinall's article "Fifty Years Later: The Legacy of the Civil Rights Act of 1964" was featured in the March 2016 Newsletter of Vanderbilt's Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Professors Andrew Daughety and Jennifer Reinganum's paper, "Settlement and Trial," was published in The Oxford Handbook of Law and Economics (Oxford University Press, 2017). The handbook is edited by Francesco Parisi. 

Professors Daughety and Reinganum's paper "Selecting Among Acquitted Defendants: Procedural Choice vs. Selective Compensation" was published in March 2016 in the Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics. Their paper "Informal Sanctions on Prosecutors and Defendants and the Disposition of Criminal Cases” appeared in the May, 2016 issue of the Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization.

Professor Joni Hersch provides a synthesis of the legal and economic consequences of workplace sexual harassment in her 2015 IZA World of Labor article, "Sexual Harassment in the Workplace." Her research on this topic is frequently cited in the media including The Guardian, Huffington Post, and CBS News