New Article: “Property Rebels: Reclaiming Abandoned, Bank-Owned Homes For Community Uses”

New Article: Valerie Schneider, “Property Rebels: Reclaiming Abandoned, Bank-Owned Homes For Community Uses,” 65 Am. U. L. Rev. 399 (August 24, 2015).

New Article: “Should the Law Do Anything About Economic Inequality?”

New Article: Matthew Dimick, Should the Law Do Anything About Economic Inequality?, SSRN Jan. 2016.  Abstract below:

What should be done about rising income and wealth inequality? Should the design and adoption of legal rules take into account their effects on the distribution of income and wealth? Or should the tax-and-transfer system be the exclusive means to address concerns about inequality? A widely-held view argues for the latter: only the tax system, and not the legal system, should be used to redistribute income. While this argument comes in a variety of normative arguments and has support across the political spectrum, there is also a well-known law-and-economics version. This argument, known as the “double-distortion” argument, is simply stated. Legal rules that redistribute income only add to the economic distortions that are already present in the tax system. It would therefore be better for everyone, and especially the poor, to instead adopt an efficient, nonredistributive legal rule, and increase redistribution through the tax system.

This Article challenges the double-distortion argument from a law-and-economics perspective. There are two main arguments, in addition to several other subsidiary points. First, in the abstract, there is no reason to believe that legal rules that have redistributive effects will always reduce efficiency; indeed, they can sometimes increase efficiency. Examples from the regulation of product markets, labor markets, and financial markets underscore this claim. In these cases, legal redistribution is more efficient than redistribution through the tax system. Second, legal rules are likely to be more attractive than taxation precisely in cases where inequality itself or normative concerns about inequality is high. Under the optimal tax policy, higher inequality or greater concern about inequality will justify larger tax distortions. Therefore, a particular legal rule is more likely to be more efficient than the optimal tax policy under these circumstances. The ultimate conclusion is that a mix of legal rules and taxation, rather than taxation exclusively, will be the best way to address economic inequality.

New Article: “Marriage, Poverty, And The Political Divide”

New Article: Andrew L. Yarrow, “Marriage, Poverty, and the Political Divide“-The New York Times

Op-Ed: “Welfare Reform Reduced Poverty And No One Can Contest It” – Forbes

Op-Ed: Scott Winship, “Welfare Reform Reduced Poverty And No One Can Contest It“-Forbes

New Article: “Will Inequality Ever Stop Growing”

New Article: “Will Inequality Ever Stop Growing?” – The Atlantic

New Article: “By 2050, There Could Be As Many As 25 Million Poor Elderly Americans”

New Article: “By 2050, There Could Be As Many As 25 Million Poor Elderly Americans” – The Atlantic

New Article: “How a Family Allowance Could End Poverty” – The Atlantic

New Article: “How a Family Allowance Could End Poverty” – The Atlantic

New Article: “All Hollowed Out”

New Article: “All Hollowed Out” – The Atlantic

Call-for-submissions from the The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences: “Anti-Poverty Policy Innovations: New Proposals for Addressing Poverty in the United States”

Call-for-submissions from the The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences: “Anti-Poverty Policy Innovations: New Proposals for Addressing Poverty in the United States” — deadline for submissions is Apr. 16, 2016.

Call-for-Papers:”A Workshop on Vulnerability and Social Justice”

Call-for-Papers: A Workshop on Vulnerability and Social Justice, June 17-18, 2016, University of Leeds, UK.


Workshop Details:

The Workshop begins Friday at 4PM in the Moot Court Room, the Liberty Building, University of Leeds. Dinner will follow the panel presentation session on Friday. Panel presentations continue on Saturday from 9:00 AM to 5PM; breakfast and lunch will be provided.


Submission Procedure:

Email a proposal as a Word or PDF document by March 1, 2016 to Antony Butcher ( and Rachel Ezrol (


Decisions will be made by March 25, 2016 and working paper drafts will be due May 20, 2016so they can be duplicated and distributed prior to the Workshop.

The terms “vulnerability” and “social justice” have been used with increasing frequency in recent years. Both are often invoked in alternative, sometimes incompatible ways. In this workshop we are interested in exploring what these terms mean, individually and in relation to each other,  in everyday, political, and professional usage, as well as their potential as “terms of art” for furthering substantive progressive change.


The Vulnerability and Human Condition Initiative (VHC) uses the concept of vulnerability to challenge the dominant conception of the universal legal subject as an autonomous, independent and fully-functioning adult. Rather than building our systems of law and justice upon this static figment of the liberal imagination, the VHC approach argues for a socially and materially dynamic vulnerable legal subject, based on a richer account of how actual peoples’ lives are shaped by an inherent and constant state of vulnerability across the life-course. Vulnerability in this approach is a universalizing concept that focuses on relationships, institutions, needs, and shared or collective responsibility. It asserts there should be political and legal implications for the fact that we live within a fragile materiality that renders us constantly susceptible to change, both positive and negative, in our bodily and our social circumstances. Such vulnerability may be realized in the form of dependency on others for care, cooperation, or assistance or it may manifest through our dependency on social arrangements, such as the family or the market and economy.


The Centre for Law & Social Justice (L&SJ) explores the role that law has in addressing inequalities and achieving a more just society. L&SJ provides a home for researchers who come from very different intellectual and theoretical traditions, and whose substantive foci cover the spectrum of contemporary concerns. Yet all members share in recognizing the importance of securing access to a range of rights and resources as a baseline for respecting human dignity. Through a number of different theoretical frameworks – including vulnerability theory, the capabilities approach, human rights, embodiment theory, and Marxist and feminist approaches -L&SJ explores various articulations of standards, needs, and our expectations of both state and non-state actors.


Nevertheless, social justice is a term susceptible to different emphases and meanings, both within and between jurisdictions. Some commentators have pointed out that there may be a tension between the pursuit of social justice and neoliberal tendencies to hold individual freedom or liberty as paramount; others see the development of individual well-being and flourishing as necessary for collective advancement and as such compatible with a focus on freedom and liberty. However, the pursuit of social justice may mean it is sometimes necessary to put collective objectives ahead of individual interests and desires. While such tensions can be overcome, the contemporary emphasis on individual rights and freedoms – particularly in the US – can and have been adopted to undercut arguments for state regulation and intervention. Further, the turn to austerity has weakened commitments to social justice even in welfare orientated states. This workshop aims to explore the relationship between vulnerability and social justice, and the role of the responsive state in promoting both individual and institutional resilience.