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YLS Awarded Grant to Establish Kauffman Program in Law, Economics and Entrepreneurship; George Priest Named Distinguished Research Scholar

Yale Law School has received a $735,000 grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to support the creation of the Kauffman Program in Law, Economics and Entrepreneurship at Yale Law School. The grant names Yale Law Professor George L. Priest as a Kauffman Distinguished Research Scholar in Law, Economics, and Entrepreneurship and will support his work reenergizing the field of law and economics by focusing on how legal institutions can promote entrepreneurship and economic growth.

Professor Priest is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of antitrust and regulation, and over the past two decades, his research has focused on the determinants of economic growth. The grant also will support the Information Society Project at Yale Law School and its examination of the ways in which laws relating to technology can promote innovation and growth.

“This marvelous grant from the Kauffman Foundation is designed to help reenergize and redirect the field of law and economics,” said Professor Priest. “Over the past four decades—led by, among others, Yale’s Guido Calabresi, law and economics has dramatically transformed our understanding of the legal system in the U.S. and around the world, in particular by the much greater attention given to the economic effects of legal rules and institutions. Law and economics is now central to the curriculum of every major law school. Indeed, Yale is far in the lead with eight Ph.D. economists and ten lawyers whose principal interest is law and economics on the permanent faculty. The Kauffman Program at Yale Law School aspires to move the field even further forward by studying and developing the role of law in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in order to advance world-wide economic growth.”

The grant is part of Kauffman’s $10 million Law, Innovation and Growth initiative to support research by leading legal and economic scholars on how best to shape the U.S. legal system so that it promotes innovation and growth. It provides for wide-ranging legal research; legal fellowships for new faculty; and seminars at leading law schools.

“We are pleased to be strengthening our support of Yale Law School, whose legal scholars have been in the forefront of law and economics,” said Robert Litan ’77, vice president of research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation. “It is only appropriate to harness Yale’s legal talent to one of the next great challenges in the legal world, to better understand how to improve our legal system in ways that foster innovation and growth.”

“Yale Law School is honored to accept this generous Kauffman Foundation grant,” said Yale Law School Dean Robert Post ’77. “Yale has long been known as the place that asks what the law ought to be, rather than what the law is. Nowhere is this question more critical than in developing legal frameworks to take advantage of the great human capacity to innovate and to create economic growth throughout the world.”

About the Kauffman Foundation
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private nonpartisan foundation that works to harness the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to grow economies and improve human welfare. Through its research and other initiatives, the Kauffman Foundation aims to open young people’s eyes to the possibility of entrepreneurship, promote entrepreneurship education, raise awareness of entrepreneurship-friendly policies, and find alternative pathways for the commercialization of new knowledge and technologies. It also works to prepare students to be innovators, entrepreneurs and skilled workers in the 21st century economy through initiatives designed to improve learning in math, engineering, science and technology. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo. and has approximately $2 billion in assets. For more information, visit www.kauffman.org and follow @kauffmanfdn on Twitter.