One Man a Committee Does Not Make: Henry Manne, the AEA-AALS Joint Committee, and the Struggle to Institutionalize Law and Economics


David Gindis
Steven G. Medema


Publication Number: 2022-13

Publication Date: December 2022

In 1965, Henry Manne convinced the Association of American Law Schools and
the American Economic Association to establish an ad hoc Joint Committee to explore the
possibilities of collaborative efforts between economists and legal scholars. This paper
examines the origins and activities of this Joint Committee and reveals that its work was
far less about promoting increased interaction between economists and legal scholars than
about a conscious attempt to use this committee to help fashion a particular form of law
and economics that would reshape legal analysis in a way consistent with Manne’s vision.
Though the Committee’s effective life was very short and its direct influence negligible,
the lessons learned informed Manne’s subsequent efforts to institutionalize law and
economics within the legal academy.