We started the Law and Markets Project at Duke Law School in the summer of 2015 in an effort to better understand the relationship between the legal system on the one hand and markets on the other. That relationship is central to understanding the nature and practical impact of legal rules, the degree to which those rules are shaped by economic forces, and the ways in which law and markets should or can operate independently. Further, it inevitably raises foundational and difficult questions. What are (or should be) the limits of markets? When, and through what mechanisms, should the law restrict the free exchange of goods and services? To what extent, and how, should the legal system address market driven inequalities in income, wealth, or access to goods and services like health care and education? By addressing these questions, we hoped to generate interesting conversations that would deepen people’s understandings of their own and each other’s work and set the stage for collaboration going forward. We chose to focus our efforts on the Duke community, so as to help build those conversations and relationships. Given our colleagues’ broad and deep substantive and methodological expertise, this hardly felt like a limitation.
Joseph Blocher & Kimberly D. Krawiec, Foreword: How to Think About Law and Markets, 80 Law & Contemporary Problems, 1–10 (2017).