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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.

Courses are taught by faculty from the Law School and the Department of Economics. Students receive a solid grounding in microeconomic theory, econometrics, and law and economics theory. Our principal fields include risk and environmental regulation, labor markets and human resources, and behavioral law and economics.

The Ph.D. Program in Law and Economics at Vanderbilt was launched in Fall 2007. The program has graduated two joint-degree students and currently has 12 students in residence, ranging from year one to year six. The program will begin to accept applications for Fall 2015 on August 1. To be considered, applicants must have a strong mathematics background commensurate with the standards of leading Ph.D. programs in economics.

Law and economics students are fully funded by a competitive package of fellowship support covering both tuition and stipend.


"This program has exceeded our very high expectations. The combination of an internationally renowned faculty, an innovative and personalized curriculum, and generous financial support has enabled us to attract extraordinarily gifted and motivated students who will become the next generation's leading scholars and teachers in the field of law and economics."

Chris Guthrie, Dean and John Wade-Kent Syverud Professor of Law

APRIL 2014

L&E student Jacob P. Byl has accepted a judicial clerkship with Judge Robert J. Jonker, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, to begin Fall 2015.

L&E student Blair Druhan has won a Burton Award for Distinguished Writing (Law Students) for her 2013 Note in the Vanderbilt Law Review.

Ph.D. candidate Caroline Cecot successfully defended her dissertation, "Shale Development: Risks, Responses, and Regulation" on March 24. Ms. Cecot will graduate with both her J.D. and her Ph.D. in Law and Economics at Commencement in May.

L&E student Jean Y. Xiao will be Senior Articles Editor for the Vanderbilt Law Review for AY 2014-2015.

L&E professor Joni Hersch and L&E professor Paige Marta Skiba authored two of Vanderbilt University's 10 most popular research stories in 2013.

L&E professor W. Kip Viscusi has been elected to be the Vice-President of the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis for 2014 and will be President of the SBCA in 2015.


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