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Law and Economics: How can laws promote an economically efficient outcome? Vindelyn Smith-Hillman Tom Bain Phil Nash.

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Presentation on theme: "Law and Economics: How can laws promote an economically efficient outcome? Vindelyn Smith-Hillman Tom Bain Phil Nash."— Presentation transcript:

1 Law and Economics: How can laws promote an economically efficient outcome? Vindelyn Smith-Hillman Tom Bain Phil Nash

2 Objective To better equip graduates for work in the Civil Service – Focus on law-economics relationship.

3 Context 1600 economists currently work across 30 government departments and agencies 2000 lawyers currently work across 30 government department and agencies Parliament produces Acts each session + there are 1000 Statutory instruments - each has to be accompanied by an impact assessment

4 Impact Assessment????

5 An Impact Assessment is: a continuous process to help the policy-maker fully think through and understand the consequences of possible and actual Government interventions in the public, private and third sectors; and a tool to enable the Government to weigh and present the relevant evidence on the positive and negative effects of such interventions, including by reviewing the impact of policies after they have been implemented.

6 Higher education intervention The introduction of a new cross disciplinary module to address identified deficiencies in the economist-lawyer work relationship.

7 Deficiencies????

8 Problematic areas Understanding of economic concepts – Costs and benefits; transfers; distributional effects Awareness of information sources – ONS statistics; Research centres Understanding of legal principles – Structure of the legal system; procedural highlights Methodological divergence – Law focus on the specific, economics – the general

9 How would the module sit within existing structure/framework? Elective that can be taken in any year No tie-ins, i.e specific to a particular faculty or subject to any pre-requisites Content: – Basic micro economic concepts related to market failure – Basic legal concepts relating to legal procedure – Case study application using cost benefit analysis Providers? Joint civil service-academia?

10 A lawyer who has not studied economics is very apt to become…. a public enemy. Justice Brandeis (1916)

11 Sources Delivering High Quality Impact Assessments available at _quality_impact_assessment.aspx Impact Assessment Library available at


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