The William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor has served on the association’s council of leaders since May 2015.
Keith Hylton, William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor and professor of law, has been named the president of the American Law & Economics Association (ALEA) for the 2017–2018 term. Hylton joined the council of officers leading the association in May 2015. He has served as secretary-treasurer, vice president, and now president of the prominent community of law and economics scholars.
The ALEA was founded in 1991 by George Priest of Yale Law School, A. Mitchell Polinsky of Stanford Law School, and Steven Shavell of Harvard Law School. The association promotes research in the fields of law and economics as well as public policy and regulation. Members include legal scholars and practitioners as well as economists. Led by a team of officers, the board of directors is made up of notable scholars from across the country.
Hylton has worked with the ALEA since its inception, participating in the group’s conferences, facilitating scholarship in law and economics, and assisting with the scholarly journal, American Law and Economics Review. During his stint as president he hopes to implement new changes to advance the group, such as facilitating engagement between junior and senior members, and making the annual meetings more financially self-sustaining. As president, he is responsible for overseeing the management of the journal and organizing conferences. Professor Hylton and Boston University School of Law will host the annual two-day conference in May 2018, which will showcase research on a variety of topics concerning the intersection of law and economics.
Hylton has contributed a great deal to the scholarship on law and economics. His most recent book, Tort Law: A Modern Perspective (Cambridge University Press 2013) incorporates thirty years of scholarship to offer a novel way of teaching tort law. The book utilizes policy analysis to examine tort law in a way not commonly found in textbooks on the subject: “For example, I introduce a few topics from economics, supply and demand analysis, basic finance concepts such as present value, basic game theory, and I use these tools in advancing policy rationales for the law.” His 2013 book Laws of Creation, authored with former BU Law dean Ronald A. Cass, provides a broad survey of IP laws. “In that book, we use economics to explain the major doctrines in IP law,” he says.
A member of the BU Law faculty since 1995, Hylton has taught courses in antitrust law, the economics of intellectual property, and tort law. Before coming to the school, he taught at Northwestern Law School for six years, and was a research fellow at the American Bar Foundation for three years. When BU approached him with a tenure offer in his fifth year of teaching, Northwestern made a competing offer of tenure to keep him, but he decided to leave for Boston because of the high quality of the BU faculty and the superior work-life balance for his family.
He has published five books and more than 100 articles in numerous law and economics journals, and serves as an associate editor of the International Review of Law and Economics, a contributing editor of the Antitrust Law Journal, co-editor of Competition Policy International, and editor of the Social Science Research Network’s Torts and Products Liability Law eJournal. He is a former chair of the Section on Torts and Compensation Systems of the American Association of Law Schools, a former chair of the Section on Antitrust and Economic Regulation of the American Association of Law Schools, a former secretary of the American Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section, a former member of the editorial board of the Journal of Legal Education, former chair of the Law and Economics section of the American Association of Law Schools, and a current member of the American Law Institute.
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