I’m signing off from the Volokh Conspiracy so that I will have time to pursue other projects. Thanks to Eugene for inviting me to blog with him, to the rest of the gang for putting up with me, and to readers for their frequently interesting and only occasionally uncharitable and very rarely egregious and defamatory comments. Eugene has kindly offered to let me post from time to time but I have asked him to take down my name in the hope that it will eliminate the otherwise difficult-to-break (for me) psychological compulsion to maintain a stream or at least trickle of posts. I leave you with some links to my recent academic work, which I had hoped to blog about but never found the time to do so.
Economic Foundations of the Law of the Sea (with Alan Sykes). All in all, the Law of the Sea treaty seems reasonable, but conservative critics are right that the deep sea mining provisions are silly. But don’t let the best be the enemy of the good, etc.
Against Feasibility Analysis (with Jonathan Masur). A popular alternative to cost-benefit analysis does not withstand scrutiny.
ProCD v. Zeidenberg and Cognitive Overload in Contractual Bargaining. Judge Easterbrook’s infamous opinion is a masterpiece of realist jurisprudence.
The Rights of Migrants: An Optimal Contract Framework (with Adam Cox). Imagine that a country is like an employer, and a potential migrant is like a prospective employee. Then you can exploit a great deal of economic wisdom on optimal contracting, for the purpose of understanding immigration law. An unplowed field for aspiring scholars.
Here are some papers that I will soon post on SSRN. If they interest you, keep an eye out for them over the next month:
What Do Federal District Judges Want?: An Analysis of Publications, Citations, and Reversals (with Steve Choi and Mitu Gulati). Conventional (academic) wisdom holds that (1) appellate judges are influenced by ideology; (2) trial judges are not influenced by ideology; and (3) the affirmance rate of trial judges is very high. Are these propositions consistent? No!, with empirical evidence.
Subconstitutionalism (with Tom Ginsburg). People talk all the time about national constitutions, including federalist structures in national constitutions, and about the constitutions of states, but rarely about how national constitutions influence the constitutions of states. We fill this gap, using an agency model and a (strong) assumption that national constitution reduces agency costs for the state population, implying that state constitutions should be weaker than national constitutions.
Universal Exceptionalism in International Law (with Anu Bradford) examines the claim that the United States has an “exceptionalist” foreign policy, and argues that in fact all great powers (China, the EU, the Soviet Union in the past) have “exceptionalist” foreign policies—in the sense that they seek to mold international law to their interests.
Foreign Affairs Legalism: A Critique (with Daniel Abebe) criticizes modern foreign relations law scholarship for putting excessive faith in courts and legal process.
Finally, two forthcoming books.
Law and Happiness (with Cass Sunstein) collects papers from a recent conference examining the implications of happiness research for legal scholarship.
Climate Change Justice (with David Weisbach) argues for a minimalist climate treaty—one that addresses global warming but does not redistribute wealth or attempt to resolve other claims of justice.
Comments, as always, welcome!