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About Us

Founded in 1980, the Institute for Law and Economics at the University of Pennsylvania has an ambitious agenda that is timelier than ever. The study of law and economics remains the most rapidly growing movement in legal scholarship and jurisprudence. Under the sponsorship of the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, the Wharton School, and the Department of Economics in Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences, the Institute has played a leading role in this expanding field.

Cross-disciplinary research, the cornerstone of ILE, seeks to influence the national policy debate by analyzing the impact of law on the global economy, spotlighting the significant role that economics plays in fashioning legal policy. Our innovative roundtables and conferences, launched in 1985, complement these goals by provoking in-depth and frequently groundbreaking examinations of critical issues. These and other programs, which are highlighted in the Annual Report, have helped the Institute stay on the leading edge of this cross-discipline.

The Institute for Law and Economics has unique advantages. We draw on the research and teaching strengths of the Law School, the Wharton School, and the Department of Economics. Our geographic location is optimal, allowing us to bring together participants from Washington and New York for full-day meetings and still get everyone home in time for dinner. We have been able to call on the expertise of the Law School alumni who occupy key positions in law, business, and government. And, critically, we have an extraordinarily distinguished cadre of board members and sponsors who are willing to give of their time and expertise to make our programming a success.

In each area, from our public lectures and panels through our closed-door roundtables to our more academically-oriented faculty workshops, we are driven by the same mission: to use the tools of economics to understand the law. In a world in which complex legal rules govern economic relationships, the tools of economics provide a way of asking whether the law creates appropriate incentives to encourage actors to maximize social welfare.

Funding for ILE comes from a diverse group of corporations, law firms, foundations, and individuals who endorse our work each year.


  • Jill Fisch
    Saul A. Fox Distinguished Professor of Business Law; Co-Director, Institute for Law and Economics
  • Elizabeth Pollman
    Professor of Law; Co-Director, Institute for Law and Economics

Contact Us

Institute for Law & Economics
University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School
3501 Sansom Street Philadelphia, PA 19104
Tel: 215.898.7719
Fax: 215.573.6032

Managing Director: Nadia M. Jannetta, Esq.