Robert Cooter


Robert Cooter, a pioneer in the field of law and economics, was educated at Swarthmore College, Oxford University, and Harvard University. After receiving his Ph.D. in economics in 1975, he joined the economics faculty at Berkeley. In 1980 he joined Berkeley’s law faculty, where he is currently the Herman F. Selvin Professor. Bob regularly teaches the economic analysis of law, and he has taught a variety of courses jointly with lawyers, including contracts, torts, corporations, financial services, the theory of adjudication, and law and anthropology. Bob has received various awards and fellowships, including Institute for Advanced Study, National Science Foundation, Guggenheim, Max Planck, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Humboldt Research Prize, and the European Law and Economics Association Distinction Award for 2011. He was a founding director of the American Law and Economics Association and its President in 1994-1995. He co-founded the Berkeley Electronic Press (BEPress) in 1999. In 1999 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received an honorary doctorate from Hamburg University in 2002 and Universidad de San Martin de Porres, Lima, Peru, in 2012. He co-founded the Latin American and Caribbean Law and Economics Association (ALACDE), and he served as its president in 2005. Besides numerous articles, he is co-author of Law and Economics (6th edition, 2011, with Tom Ulen; also translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Hungarian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Farsi), The Strategic Constitution (Princeton, 2000), and Solomon’s Knot: How Law Can End the Poverty of Nations (Princeton UP, 2012, with Hans Bernd Schäfer). Cooter has published a wide variety of articles applying economic analysis to private law, constitutional law, and law in developing countries.


B.A., Swarthmore College (1967)
M.A., Oxford University (1969)
Ph.D., Harvard University (1975)