Elizabeth Warren on fact, law and theory

Larry Ribstein —  23 July 2010

Since Professor Warren is much in the news lately, I thought it was time to reprise my post on her from almost four years ago. Also read the comments. Enjoy.

Larry Ribstein


Professor of Law, University of Illinois College of Law

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  1. Behavioral Economics and Consumer Financial Protection for “Nitwits” « Truth on the Market - August 1, 2010

    […] interpretations of empirical data related to credit cards by Elizabeth Warren (see also Ribstein and McArdle), the widely reported first-choice for the head of the agency (indeed, some describe […]

  2. More on Elizabeth Warren, Theory and Interpreting Data « Truth on the Market - July 23, 2010

    […] Larry’s post responding to an earlier blog post from Professor Warren relates not exactly to empirical skills, but empirical teaching and (do read the post) a view on law, theory and facts that reveals what I take to be a fairly deep misunderstanding of economic theory and methodology.  David Evans and I make a similar point on the use and abuse of the behavioral economics literature to bolster the case for a consumer protection agency.  Larry’s post also reminding me that as long as we are reprising old posts, I have one directly on topic that provides an example that I think gets at what McArdle, Zywicki and Ribstein are each discussing.  Frankly, I also think it is a bit more interesting than both the tax and medical bankruptcy examples for the purposes of discussing the CFPB because I believe Warren’s actual data skills matter less than how she interprets data for legal and policy applications because she will have a large staff of competent economists to do data analysis.  I do not suspect she will be running many regressions on her own. […]