Katharina Pistor of Columbia Law School to be Awarded a Grant from the Institute for New Economic Thinking

The Institute will fund Professor Pistor’s multidisciplinary research to perform a series of case studies that would construct a new theory of the relationship between laws and markets.

New York, NY, November 08, 2010 --(PR.com)-- The Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), launched with a $50 million pledge from George Soros to promote changes in economic theory and practice through research grants, Task Force groups, academic partnerships, and conferences, announced that it has selected Katharina Pistor of Columbia Law School to be awarded a project grant through the Institute’s Inaugural Grant Program to use case studies drawn from the recent financial crisis to construct a new theory that better captures the relationship between law and markets. The grant program, along with other INET initiatives, was created in direct response to arguably the worst economic crisis in world history, and has been designed to encourage and support new economic thinking. Starting in 2011, INET will conduct two grant cycles annually.

One of the most critical areas in political economy requiring further reflection and analysis is the field of law and economics. Existing paradigms failed to fully predict the global crisis; to explain the development of financial markets that preceded it; to pinpoint why legal institutions failed to prevent, or even contributed to, the crisis; and to design more effective governance regimes. Pistor and a team of researchers, to be drawn from the law and social sciences, will use INET’s funding to conduct case study research projects that will evaluate the explanatory power and constituent assumptions of well-established theories. The findings will be used as an analytical window to begin constructing an alternative framework that provides a more robust conceptualization of the primary purpose of law in financial markets and the law and markets interface.

“Among our objectives for the Inaugural Grant Program was to fund projects from related disciplines such law and the social sciences to work in our core areas of interest from a different perspective,” commented Dr. Robert Johnson, Executive Director of INET. “Such a multidisciplinary approach will provide us with a better opportunity to understand what fails and why in an economic crisis, and most importantly, finding ways to prevent similar failures in the future.”

Pistor teaches law at Columbia Law School. She studied comparative law in Germany and the UK and policy analysis at Harvard. Her research focuses on the transformation of legal and socioeconomic systems. She worked on privatization, corporate governance and legal reforms in the former socialist world and was one of the principal investigators on a project sponsored by the Asian Development Bank on the role of law and legal institutions in Asian economic development. Her most recent book publication (with Curtis Milhaupt) is “Law and Capitalism: What Corporate Crises Reveal about Legal Systems and Economic Development Around the World.”

“We found there was a critical gap in economic, policy, and legal thinking when it came to preventing a crisis of the magnitude we experienced and when developing regulatory reforms to respond to it,” said Katharina Pistor, Michael I. Sovern Professor of Law, and Director of the Center on Global Legal Transformation, Columbia Law School. “With the support of INET, we will be able to make important progress in explaining why our analytical and regulatory frameworks failed so that we can improve our ability to address future problems before markets become vulnerable to collapse.”

INET’s Inaugural Grant Program has been designed to harness the new economic thinking they recognize as crucial to effecting change. The program was launched this summer and received more than 500 applications from around the world and has selected 31 initiatives to be awarded grants totaling $7 million. INET's Grant Program will continue with two similar grant cycles annually, the next one commencing in the spring of 2011.

For further details regarding INET’s Grant Program or additional projects and people to be awarded grants please visit the Institute’s website.

About the Institute for New Economic Thinking:
Launched in October 2009 with a $50 million commitment from George Soros and driven by the global financial crisis, the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) is dedicated to empowering and supporting the next generation of economists and scholars in related fields through research grants, Task Force groups, academic partnerships, and conferences. INET embraces the professional responsibility to think beyond current paradigms. Ultimately, INET is committed to broadening and accelerating the development of innovative thinking that can lead to insights into and solutions for the great challenges of the 21st century and return economics to its core mission of guiding and protecting society. For more information please visit http://www.ineteconomics.org/

Institute for New Economic Thinking
Bill Fallon
212 925 6900