Since the 1960s, Yale Law School has been at the heart of a movement to expand the field of law and economics from a narrow area of study with roots in antitrust law and the regulation of public utilities into a broader intellectual enterprise that applies the methods of economic analysis to almost all areas of law—from the common law fields of contracts, torts, and property, to subjects with less obvious economic content such as criminal law and administrative law. Over the years, these applications have in many instances contributed to ongoing public policy debates.
Much of Yale's work in law and economics falls under the aegis of the John M. Olin Center for Law, Economics and Public Policy, directed by George Priest and Susan Rose-Ackerman. The center, founded over twenty years ago, is designed to facilitate the scholarly work of the Yale faculty and to support student interest and research in the field. The center's many activities include a regular workshop series
, a working paper series, and the Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization