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Ph.D. Program in Law & Economics

Joint-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.


Recent Research Highlights

In Spring 2015, Professor Joni Hersch and Professor Jennifer Bennett Shinall published their article "Fifty Years Later: The Legacy of the Civil Rights Act of 1964" in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Their article was featured in the March 2016 Newsletter of Vanderbilt's Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

In March 2015, Professor W. Kip Viscusi, President of the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis, presented the Keynote Address, "Pricing Lives for Government and Corporate Risk Decisions," at SBCA's annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Watch the full address here.

Professors Andrew Daughety and Jennifer Reinganum's paper, "Settlement and Trial: Selected Analyses of the Bargaining Environment," will be published in The Oxford Handbook of Law and Economics. The handbook is edited by Francesco Parisi. 

Professor Hersch became a Research Fellow with IZA – Institute for the Study of Labor in April 2015 and was appointed editor of the IZA Journal of Labor Economics in July 2015. Professor Hersch's interview with IZA Press about color discrimination in the U.S. is available here. Also, her article "Sexual Harassment in the Workplace" was published in IZA World of Labor in October 2015.

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” is forthcoming in the Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization.

Professor Paige Marta Skiba wrote about U.S. tax rebates and payday loan borrowers for The London School of Economics American Politics and Policy blog. The blog post was based on Skiba's research from her article "Tax Rebates and the Cycle of Payday Borrowing" that was published in the American Law and Economics Review.

Law and Economics Faculty
Research Interests


W. Kip Viscusi
Risk and environmental regulation, behavioral economics, law and economics

Joni Hersch
Labor economics, discrimination,
law and economics

Other Faculty

Kathryn Anderson
Labor, health, economic development

Andrew Daughety
Industrial organization, law and economics, microeconomics

Jennifer Reinganum
Industrial organization, law and economics

Jennifer Bennett Shinall
Labor economics and employment law, legal and economic history

Paige Marta Skiba
Behavioral economics,
law and economics

Director of Graduate Studies

Erin O'Hara O'Connor
Law and human behavior, contracts, conflict of laws

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