New Possibilities

Building Equitable Institutions for a Complex Economy

Who I Am

I am a legal scholar who studies how institutions affect economic growth and distribute its gains (and losses). Currently, I focus upon the private law institutions -- such as contract and corporate law -- that provide the fundamental infrastructure for our global economy. My research combines insights and methods from adjacent disciplines, such as economics and sociology, with the rich institutional detail available through legal study.

I am currently a Professor of Law at BYU Law School, was the Justin W. D'Atri Visiting Professor of Law, Business & Society at Columbia Law School (Autumn 2019), practiced for five years at Shearman & Sterling in New York, and was a law clerk for (then) Vice Chancellor Leo Strine of the Delaware Court of Chancery. I am a graduate of Columbia Law School, the London School of Economics, and Brigham Young University, and I grew up attending public schools in Dousman, Wisconsin.

Why I Work On These Issues

I think Arthur Pigou (1920) put his finger on it: "It is not wonder, but rather social enthusiasm which revolts from the sordidness of mean streets and the joylessness of withered lives, that is the beginning of economic science." The personal urgency I feel to work on these issues arises from two places. The first is my childhood. The memory to which I consistently return is standing beside my mother when I was eleven years old as she tearfully argued with a grocery store manager about paying with food stamps. For many of us, those types of fights are not just memories but are what await us tomorrow. The second is being a parent. The picture above is of my son, who has a relentless curiosity and deserves a world where his creativity has room to wander. We all deserve that.

These issues are, of course, larger than one scholar's research agenda, however ambitious it may be, but this at least is my attempt to do my part.

What You Will Find Here

If you'd like to learn more about my research, you can find additional information here. My C.V. is available here. If you're one of my students or would like to see what topics my classes are studying, you can find more details on my courses here. If you're a researcher, the data that I am allowed to make publicly available can be found here. And, if you find that this site just isn't enough :), feel free to follow me on Twitter (@mattjennejohn).