Chicago's Best Ideas

Jonathan Masur, "Well-Being Analysis vs. Cost-Benefit Analysis"

Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is the primary tool used by policymakers to inform administrative decisionmaking. Yet its methodology of converting preferences (often hypothetical ones) into dollar figures, then using those dollar figures as proxies for quality of life, creates systemic errors so large as to deprive the tool of value.

Jonathan Masur, "Well-Being Analysis vs. Cost-Benefit Analysis"

Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is the primary tool used by policymakers to inform administrative decisionmaking. Yet its methodology of converting preferences (often hypothetical ones) into dollar figures, then using those dollar figures as proxies for quality of life, creates systemic errors so large as to deprive the tool of value.


65:23 minutes (59.87 MB)

Lee Fennell, "Property in Housing"

The question of how to structure and package the residential experience is a deeply interesting and difficult one. How physically large or small should residential holdings be? How densely should they be clustered? Should spaces for working, recreating, cooking, and bathing be contained within the private residential unit, shared with other households, or procured a la carte?


58:00 minutes (53.11 MB)

Alison LaCroix, "The Lost History of the Spending Power"

The Supreme Court’s decision in the healthcare case has brought new prominence to Congress’s power to tax and spend for the general welfare under Article I, section 8, clause 1. Legislation under the spending power is often regarded as an artifact of the New Deal period. But the spending power has a longer history dating from the early nineteenth century.


38:37 minutes (35.36 MB)

Alison LaCroix, "The Lost History of the Spending Power"

The Supreme Court’s decision in the healthcare case has brought new prominence to Congress’s power to tax and spend for the general welfare under Article I, section 8, clause 1. Legislation under the spending power is often regarded as an artifact of the New Deal period. But the spending power has a longer history dating from the early nineteenth century.

Laura Weinrib, "Free Speech When Constitutionalism Was Unpopular"

In the mid-1930s, the future of judicial review was uncertain.  Politicians, social activists, and even legal academics denounced the federal judiciary’s hostility toward New Deal legislation as a threat to democratic progress and economicrecovery.  In the face of President Roosevelt’s “court-packing plan” and competing proposals to curb judicial power, conservative lawyers sough


47:08 minutes (43.15 MB)

Lee Fennell, "Property in Housing"

The question of how to structure and package the residential experience is a deeply interesting and difficult one. How physically large or small should residential holdings be? How densely should they be clustered? Should spaces for working, recreating, cooking, and bathing be contained within the private residential unit, shared with other households, or procured a la carte?

Saul Levmore, "Intermediation and Intervention"

What can law do well? It tries to “intervene” in order to control antisocial behavior, to enforce promises, and to prevent violence. But it is also called on to “intermediate” so that citizens need not confront one another directly and need not even control themselves.


60:57 minutes (55.81 MB)

Saul Levmore, "Intermediation and Intervention"

What can law do well? It tries to “intervene” in order to control antisocial behavior, to enforce promises, and to prevent violence. But it is also called on to “intermediate” so that citizens need not confront one another directly and need not even control themselves.

Martha Nussbaum, "Teaching Patriotism"

Schools teach patriotism all the time, but many people think that this is a bad idea. Patriotic rituals may convey misplaced and hierarchical values; they may coerce conscience; and they may promote a dangerous type of uncritical homogeneity. On the other hand, it seems difficult to motivate sacrifices of self-interest for the common good without patriotic emotion. Prof.


67:11 minutes (61.52 MB)
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