Professor Robert Cooter, the Herman F. Selvin Professor of Law at Boalt Hall and a widely recognized pioneer in the field of law and economics, delivered the Program on Law and Human Development Annual Lecture on September 7, 2012, in Eck Hall of Law.
Mr. Cooter began his address with a review of those regions of the world that, since 1960, have experienced robust and sustained economic growth. In his broad analysis, the most successful economic environments have been those in which legal and government structures both support the creation of enterprise, and guarantee the rights of those who engage in and with them.
Expanding upon the central thesis of his latest publication, Solomon’s Knot: How Law Can End the Poverty of Nations, Mr. Cooter proposed a formula for economic development that unites liberal government policy, well-considered laws, and ample opportunity for entrepreneurship. The key, he explained, is to create an overall cultural environment in which mutual trust – supported by sound legal structures – allows for the greatest amount of risk-taking and wealth creation. According to Mr. Cooter, his theory “emphasizes…capital and new ideas being joined through a framework of good will.” Summing up this approach as a “right to enterprise,” Mr. Cooter framed the issue as one of not only legal, but also human rights.
The Program on Law and Human Development Annual Lecture was co-sponsored by the Notre Dame Program on Law and Market Behavior, the Notre Dame Law and Economics Program, and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies.
Watch Mr. Cooter’s address here.