Previous Fellows Academic Program

Fellows Academic Program
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  • Research Seminars
  • Fellows 2022-23
  • Fellows 2021-22
  • Fellows 2020-21
  • Fellows 2019-20
  • Fellows 2018-19
  • Fellows 2017-18

The Center has organized a set of five intensive and high-level research seminars for its group of fellows. These seminars were also opened to a small, select group of PhD students from across the campus whose research relates to the Center’s main theme:

Resarch Seminar



The Building Blocks of the Market: Property and Contracts

Prof. Hanoch Dagan


This seminar covers some of the major theories of property and contracts, which are of course the most fundamental building blocks of the market. We will discuss both conceptual and normative accounts, focusing respectively on the structure of property and contracts as well as on their putative (welfarist or right-based) normative underpinnings. Throughout our deliberations we will try to bring these theoretical questions to life by grounding them in some of the most persistent and contentious problems facing contemporary society.

Economy and Modernity

Prof. Michael Zakim


The seminar will explore the keywords of modern economic life – property, labor, value, exchange, profit, and market, to name a representative sampling – by reading various key texts of modern economic thought.  The aim is to develop a multi-disciplinary conversation that will seek to situate economy in its more general social, cultural, and political contexts.


Capitalism and inequality

Prof. Roy Kreitner


In the fallout of the financial crisis that has become the great recession, economic inequality has reached its prime. It is still mounting, but people have taken notice and the discourse of economic inequality has shifted. What was up until recently an issue primarily discussed in terms of distributive justice between the global north and the global south has taken a domestic and a political turn: inequality is becoming the focus of concern within the richest countries. Recently, a wave of empirical research has shown what most observers had intuited for years: inequality is growing, and reaching alarming proportions. The complaints have now become commonplace; the denials, muted. But the consensus over inequality is actually quite thin. Nearly everyone agrees (or concedes) that it is a problem, but there is less agreement on three big questions: Why is inequality a problem? What are the drivers of growing inequality? How can inequality be combatted? We will discuss some of the current work examining these questions.


The Law, Institutions and Economic Development 

Prof. Ron Harris


The institutional turn in economics shifted attention from the functioning of markets to the legal, political and organizational infrastructure of markets. In this four-session module we will explore the intellectual and material motivations for the institutional turn. We will study a few basic analytical tools used by historically oriented institutional economics, touching upon transaction costs and property rights, information and networks, public choice and path dependence. We will eventually examine a few applications in concrete historical studies, ranging from macro issues such as the rise of the West to micro-organizational structures, from social to legal norms and enforcement, and from evolutionary developments to sticky inefficiencies. 



The Market and the State

Prof. Talia Fisher


The seminar will be dedicated to the issue of the proper scope of the market, and to reflective thought regarding the expansion of the market realm, as manifested by two related phenomena – commodification and privatization. Commodification reflects the infiltration of market logic to what were otherwise external arenas, and the conversion of people, attributes, and relationships into commodities.  Privatization signals the transfer of services and industries from the state to the market, similarly leading to market expansion.  Our discussions on commodification will address the classic “taboo trades” – such as prostitution or the sale of human organs – as well as markets for votes and conscription. The deliberation on privatization will take place against the background of the commodification debate, and will be dedicated to private prisons and to the privatization of law. The methodological tools will range from economic analysis to political theory.  


Law, Markets and Inequalitiy Dr. Tamar Kricheli-Katz


The class investigates the interrelations across law markets and society and focuses on the  empirical research of inequality. We will ask how law and markets generate, maintain and legitimize inequality and address the ways in which they can reduce it. We will explore different dimensions of inequality (class, identity (race, gender, nationality, sexuality), and community) and different levels of legal-market-society phenomena ((the micro (people), macro (institutions), and meso (interpersonal relationships)).

Philosophy of Markets 

 Prof. Avihay Dorfman


The seminar provides an overview of how markets work and what might justify them.  Specific attention is given to the role of legal and political institutions in structuring market exchange, allocating resources, and delineating the outer limits of markets.  More generally, the seminar brings together scholarship from law, philosophy, and economics to study the conceptual, moral, and legal underpinnings of market orderings.  


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