Omri Ben-Shahar, "The Unintended Effects of Access Justice Laws"


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Access Justice laws give people equal opportunity to enjoy primary goods, ensuring that access to these goods is not allocated by markets and is not tilted in favor of wealth and privilege. But Access Justice often fails to meet its egalitarian aspirations, because access and its benefits are deployed disproportionately by elites, yet paid for directly by public budgets and indirectly by weaker groups. In this lecture, Professor Ben-Shahar explains why Access Justice law can unintentionally hurt weak groups in a variety of areas — access to courts, information, insurance, internet, and many more. Omri Ben-Shahar earned his PhD in Economics and SJD from Harvard in 1995 and his BA and LLB from the Hebrew University in 1990. Before coming to Chicago, he was the Kirkland & Ellis Professor of Law and Economics at the University of Michigan. Prior to that, he taught at Tel-Aviv University, was a member of Israel's Antitrust Court and clerked at the Supreme Court of Israel. He teaches contracts, sales, insurance Law, consumer law, e-commerce, food and drug law, law and economics, and game theory and the law. He writes in the fields of contract law and consumer protection. He is the co-author of More Than You Wanted to Know: The Failure of Mandated Disclosure (Princeton 2014). Ben-Shahar is the Kearny Director of the Coase-Sandor Institute for Law and Economics, and the Editor of the Journal of Legal Studies. He is also the Co-Reporter with Oren Bar-Gill for the Restatement Third of Consumer Contracts. This lecture was recorded on March 3, 2015, as part of the Chicago's Best Ideas lecture series.

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