Richard R.W. Brooks

Charles Keller Beekman Professor of Law

Office: Jerome Greene Hall, Room 919
435 W. 116th St.
New York NY 10027
Tel: 212-854-3264
Email: rbrooks@law.columbia.edu
Areas of Teaching and Research
  • Contracts
  • Business Organization
  • Agency and Fiduciary Law
  • Law, Economics, and Social Practice
Education
  • University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 1998
  • University of California at Berkeley, Ph.D. (Economics), 1998
  • University of California at Berkeley, M.A., 1996
  • Cornell University, B.A., 1988
Biography

Richard R.W. Brooks joined the faculty as the Charles Keller Beekman Professor of Law in July 2013. His scholarship focuses on contracts and agency, among other forms of business and social organization. Brooks has published numerous books and articles that analyze behavior through the lens of economics, custom, and law.

His most recent book, Saving the Neighborhood: Racially Restrictive Covenants, Law, and Social Norms, (coauthored with Carol Rose) examines the history and enduring legacy of racially restrictive property agreements (or racial covenants), which the Supreme Court ruled unenforceable in 1948.  Yet despite this repudiation, racial covenants lived on in real estate records, influencing the behaviors of lenders, insurers and realtors, as well as the beliefs and expectations of homebuyers and sellers. Over time the impact of racial covenants would fade, but their legal and social significance lingered well beyond 1948.  Racial covenants, even without formal enforcement, were effective signals, creating “common knowledge” that guided the actions of real estate professionals and ordinary buyers and sellers in the housing market.

Brooks’ work also includes articles about contract law and theory, experimental economics, the economics of environmental law, fairness, and perceptions of the legal system.

Brooks holds a B.A. from Cornell University, an M.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, a J.D. from The University of Chicago Law School, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley. He was a visiting professor at the Law School in 2006 and was most recently the Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law at Yale Law School. He also taught previously at Northwestern University School of Law and at Cornell University in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management. Brooks has served as a visiting researcher at the Center in Law, Economics and Organization at the University of Southern California Law School; on an advisory committee to the Social, Behavioral and Economics Sciences Division of the National Science Foundation; and as a research specialist in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice.

Selected Publications

Books
  • Saving the Neighborhood: Racially Restrictive Covenants, Law, and Social Norms (with Carol M. Rose) Harvard University Press, 2013.
  • Contracts: Cases and Materials (with E. Allan Farnsworth, Carol Sanger, Neil Cohen & Larry Garvin) Foundation Press, forthcoming, 2013.
  • Economics of Environmental Law (Volume I: Theoretical Foundations & Volume II: Issues and Applications) (with Nathaniel O. Keohane & Douglas A. Kysar) Edward Elgar Press, 2009.
  • Contracts: Cases and Materials (with E. Allan Farnsworth, William F. Young, Carol Sanger & Neil Cohen) Foundation Press, 2008.
Articles & Chapters
  • “Racial Covenants and Housing Segregation, Yesterday and Today," (with Carol Rose) in Race and Real Estate in series Transgressing Boundaries: Studies in Black Politics and Black Communities (eds. Cathy Cohen and Fred Harris) Oxford University Press, forthcoming, 2013.
  • “Framing Contracts: Why Loss Framing Increases Effort," (with Alexander Stremitzerand Stephan Tontrup) Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, vol. 168(1), 62, 2012.
  • “On and Off Contract Remedies Inducing Cooperative Investments," (with Alexander Stremitzer) American Law & Economic Review, vol. 14(2), 488, 2012.
  • “Covenants without Courts: Enforcing Residential Segregation with Legally Unenforceable Agreements," American Economic Review, vol. 101(3), 360, 2011.
  • “Response to Robert Ahdieh's Beyond Individualism in Law and Economics," Boston University Law Review, vol. 97(1), 379, 2011.
  • “Beyond Ex Post Expediency: An Ex Ante View of Rescission and Restitution," (with Alexander Stremitzer) Washington and Lee Law Review, vol. 68(3), 1171, 2011.
  • “Trigger Happy or Gun Shy: An Analysis of Texas Shoot-outs and other Partnership and Corporate Buy-out Agreements," (with Claudia Landeo and Kathryn Spier) Rand Journal of Economics, vol. 41(4), 649, 2010.
  • “Social Science Evidence of Legal Responsibility for Sexual Violence in Darfur," (with John Hagan & Todd Haugh) Law & Social Inquiry, vol. 35(4), 881, 2010.
  • “Remedies On and Off Contract," (with Alexander Stremitzer) Yale Law Journal, vol. 120, 2010.
  • “The Supermodular Architecture of Diversity," (with Valerie Purdie-Vaughns) Harvard Journal on Law and Gender, vol. 30(2), 379, 2007.
  • “The Efficient Performance Hypothesis," Yale Law Journal, vol. 116(3), 568, 2006.
  • “Incorporating Race," Columbia Law Review, vol. 106(8), 2023, 2006.
  • “Diversity and Discontent: The Relationship Between School Desegregation and Perceptions of Racial Justice," American Law & Economics Review, vol. 8(2): 410, 2006.
  • “Credit Past Due," Columbia Law Review, vol. 106(4): 994, 2006.
  • “Legal Uncertainty, Economic Efficiency, and the Preliminary Injunction Doctrine," (with Warren Schwartz) Stanford Law Review, vol. 58(2), 381, 2005.
  • “Does Affirmative Action Reduce the Number of Black Lawyers?" (with Ian Ayres) Stanford Law Review, vol. 57(6), 1807, 2005.
  • Gun Manufacturers in the Crossfire between Litigating Liability and Legislating Immunity," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, vol. 22(3), 467, 2003.
  • “Life Terms or Death Sentences: The Uneasy Relationship Between Judicial Elections and Capital Punishment," (with Steven Raphael) Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, vol. 92(3-4), 609, 2002.
  • “Liability and Organizational Choice," Journal of Law & Economics, vol. 45(1), 91, 2002.
  • “Broken Elevators in the Cathedral: The Burden of Determining Property Rules & Liability Rules," Northwestern University Law Review, vol. 97(1), 267, 2002.
  • “Race, Income, and Perceptions of the U.S. Court System," (with Haekyung Jeon-Slaughter) Behavioral Sciences and the Law, vol. 19, 249, 2001.
  • “Fear and Fairness in the City: Criminal Enforcement and Community Perceptions of Fairness," Southern California Law Review, vol. 73(6), 1219, 2000.
  • “General Motors and Fisher Body: A Response to 'Corporate Finance, the Theory of the Firm, and Organizations,'" (with Susan Helper) Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 14(2), 233, 2000.
  • “The Air Pollution Permit Process for U.S. and German Automobile Assembly Plants," (with John Dwyer and Alan Marco) Regulatory Encounters: Multinational Corporations and American Adversarial Legalism, The University of California Press, 2000.
Miscellaneous Publications & Working Papers
  • Selections for Contracts (with various co-editors, including Neil Cohen, E. Allan Farnsworth, Larry Garvin, Carol Sanger & William F. Young) Foundation Press, 2007- 2012.
  • “Compensating Differentials in Gender and Racial Gaps among Young Lawyers," (with Ian Ayres).
  • “Unhappy Winners?: Identifying the Perceptual Effects of School Desegregation," (with with John Hagan and Kyle Hood).
  • “Simple Rules for Simple Courts."
  • “Covenants & Conventions: Non-legal Enforcement of Racial Restrictive Covenants."
  • “Make-or-Buy Compliance: Markets for Pollution-Intensive Activities and Implicit Emissions Trading."
  • “Uncertain Breach of Contract and Efficient Preliminary Remedies," (with Warren Schwartz).