Chicago's Best Ideas

Bernard Harcourt, "The Illusion of Free Markets: Laissez faire and Mass Incarceration"

It is widely believed today that the free market is the best mechanism ever invented to efficiently allocate resources in society. Just as fundamental is the belief that government has a legitimate and competent role in policing and punishing. The result, in this country, has been an incendiary combination of laissez faire and mass incarceration.

CBI: Mary Anne Case, "'You're Telling Me It's Wrong to Do to the Prisoners What the Army Does to Its Own Soldiers?' Gender Performance Requirements of the U.S. Military in the War on Islamic Terrorism"

Date: 
04.13.2011
Location: 
Room II

Among the disturbing reports  from a variety of venues at which the U.S. military has conducted interrogations of Islamic male detainees are those detailing exploitation of sexual and gender stereotypes and taboos as a central part of efforts to humiliate and degrade detainees.

Faculty: 
Mary Anne Case

CBI: Richard Epstein, "Clinical Trials on Trial: How Should the FDA Do Its Job?"

Date: 
05.02.2011
Location: 
Room II

One of the major functions of the FDA is to check new drugs for their safety and effectiveness. The chief tool for doing this has been the double-blind clinical trial.

Faculty: 
Richard A. Epstein

Bernard Harcourt, "The Illusion of Free Markets: Laissez faire and Mass Incarceration"

It is widely believed today that the free market is the best mechanism ever invented to efficiently allocate resources in society. Just as fundamental is the belief that government has a legitimate and competent role in policing and punishing. The result, in this country, has been an incendiary combination of laissez faire and mass incarceration.


60:34 minutes (55.46 MB)

Anup Malani and Jonathan Masur, "The True Cost of Patents"

Patents encourage innovation by granting inventors exclusive rights to sell their inventions. The resulting monopoly profits are a reward for innovation. It is commonly thought, however, that these monopoly profits price some consumers of inventions out of the market. This loss of consumption is an “efficiency” cost of patents.


61:36 minutes (56.39 MB)

Anup Malani and Jonathan Masur, "The True Cost of Patents"

Patents encourage innovation by granting inventors exclusive rights to sell their inventions. The resulting monopoly profits are a reward for innovation. It is commonly thought, however, that these monopoly profits price some consumers of inventions out of the market. This loss of consumption is an “efficiency” cost of patents.

CBI: Bernard Harcourt, "The Illusion of Free Markets: Laissez faire and Mass Incarceration"

Date: 
02.21.2011
Location: 
Room II

It is widely believed today that the free market is the best mechanism ever invented to efficiently allocate resources in society. Just as fundamental is the belief that government has a legitimate and competent role in policing and punishing. The result, in this country, has been an incendiary combination of laissez faire and mass incarceration.

CBI: Adam Samaha, "Tiebreakers"

Date: 
04.26.2011
Location: 
Room I

What is a tiebreaker? Are some tiebreakers better than others? Does law have tiebreakers? Are ties so terrible that we need to break them? In this CBI, Professor Samaha offers answers to these questions. Using various examples from life and law, he will explain how tiebreakers can be thought of as a peculiar sort of lexically inferior decision rule.

Alicia Davis, "Is There a Corporate Governance Clientele Effect?"

Institutional investors, because of their relatively larger ownership stakes, have more incentive than retail investors to monitor the companies in which they invest, particularly if it is costly to exit.


51:27 minutes (47.11 MB)

Alicia Davis, "Is There a Corporate Governance Clientele Effect?"

Institutional investors, because of their relatively larger ownership stakes, have more incentive than retail investors to monitor the companies in which they invest, particularly if it is costly to exit.

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