More on JD/PhD's in Law and Economics

Josh Wright —  10 February 2006

My colleage Francesco Parisi has chimed in on Vandy’s new law and economics program in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Though I cannot click through to the actual article in the Chronicle, Francesco notes that GMU has long had a “Law and Economics” Ph.D. program, offering six different degrees in law and economics (as opposed to separate programs). I suppose the distinguishing fact is that the Vandy program would be housed in the law school and not the economic department — but as discussed in the comments to the earlier post here at TOTM, it is unclear whether that feature provides any additional benefits. In any event, I am happy to see more of these programs.

6 responses to More on JD/PhD's in Law and Economics


    I don’t have lots of data on how well GMU grads place. But Jonathan Klick of Florida State is a recent example of a talented law and economics scholar with a JD/PhD from GMU who has placed well in the legal-academic market.


    Hmm, Any idea how GMU econ grads in general do on the accademic market? I have only the vaguest idea of the heirarchy for econ and no real good idea of how far down in it you can go and get a decent accademic job, but I’d be currious to know. If the GMU and Vany programs are meant to produce accademics (they might not be) the quality of the econ training has to be pretty important since neither school pumps out law teachers on its own. (Very few law schools do, of course.) Many of the GMU joint programs seem more designed for policy people or analysts of various sorts than for people going on the teaching market, though.


    Matt: I am not aware of data of any job placement data for graduates of GMU’s law and econ programs.


    Are there any statistics about what sorts of jobs the students from the various law and econ programs at GMU get? I assume that would be very useful to know for perspective students, but I didn’t see an easy link from the page above. (It might also be useful for Vanderbilt- both the students and administrators- since it’s plausible to think that there will be somewhat similar success, at least for some time.)


    Helpful post, Josh. Another previously undiscussed difference is that Vandy is a private institution and therefore may be in a position to give more generous funding to its students than a state-supported program like GMU’s is able to offer. This, combined with the relatively lower costs of Nashville, may make Vandy financially more attractive to some students. In any event, to get the program off on the right foot, it probably would be wise for Vandy to offer unusually generous support as an inducement to early participants in the program plus a strong institutional commitment to place those students in good positions a few years hence. Resources and placement capacity are important factors in any program’s succcess. And they are especially important for new entrants in an already well-established field.

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  1. TRUTH ON THE MARKET » Update: Vandy’s PhD in Law and Economics - October 6, 2006

    […] A few months ago, Keith posted regarding the announcement of Vanderbilt’s new PhD program in Law and Economics. The post generated a lively discussion in the comments (and a follow up post here on GMU’s own Law and Econ program). Much of the discussion focused on the following questions: what would such a program should look like? What classes would be taught? And by whom? Well, Vandy has answers! The new (to me at least) website contains a program announcement, information on curriculum design, and a roster of what looks like a truly top notch faculty (which is apparently looking to expand). […]