The German Law and Economics Association (Gesellschaft für Recht und Ökonomik e.V. – GLEA) was established in 2002 and unites German law and economics scholars. The annual conference, hosted by different universities around the world, aim to promote research and publication among law and economics researchers by providing a unique platform through which they are able to network with researchers from both their own country and researchers internationally.

GLEA invites paper submissions for its 16th Annual Conference to take place July 5-6, 2018, at the University of Ljubljana Faculty of Economics. The keynote lecture will be delivered by Prof. dr. Holger Spamann, Harvard University Harvard Law School (USA).

The economic analysis of law, or law and economics, may be defined as ‘the application of economic theory and econometric methods to examine the formation, structure, processes and impact of law and legal institutions’. It explicitly considers legal institutions not as given outside the economic system but as variables within it, and looks at the effects of changing one or more of them upon other elements of the system. In the economic analysis of law, legal institutions are treated not as fixed outside the economic system, but as belonging to the choices to be explained. This approach is advocated not merely for legal rules with an obvious link to economic realities such as competition, economic organisation, prices and profits, and income distribution, which translate into competition law and industrial regulation, labour law and tax law. Law and economics has the ambition of applying the economic approach not merely to these areas of economic regulation readily associated with economics, but to all areas of law.

The idea of applying economic concepts to gain a better understanding of law is older than the current movement, which goes back to the late 1950s. Key insights of law and economics can already be found in the writings of the Scottish Enlightenment thinkers. The Historical School and the Institutionalist School, active on both sides of the Atlantic between roughly 1830 and 1930, had aims similar to the current law and economics movement. During the 1960s and 1970s the Chicago approach to law and economics reigned supreme. After the critical debates in the United States between 1976 and 1983, other approaches came to the fore. Of these, the neo-institutionalist approach and the Austrian approach, both corresponding to schools within economics proper, are worth watching. Law and economics has progressively found its way to countries outside the United States where it remains the single most influential jurisprudential school. From the mid 1970s onwards it reached the English speaking countries, then other countries as well.

Law and economics is also a very prestigious scientific discipline and, among other prominent scholars, features several Nobel Prize laureates for economics (Ronald Coase, Garry Becker, Douglas North, Oliver Williamson, Oliver Hart and Richard Thaler).