- J.D., Stanford Law School, 1989
- A.B., Harvard University, 1985
Michael Heller is Lawrence A. Wien Professor of Real Estate Law at Columbia Law School and has served as the school’s vice dean for intellectual life. He writes and teaches on private law theory, with a focus on property and land use.
Heller has authored several books, including The Choice Theory of Contracts (Cambridge University Press, 2017) (with Hanoch Dagan) and The Gridlock Economy: How Too Much Ownership Wrecks Markets, Stops Innovation, and Costs Lives (Basic Books, 2008). He is the editor of the two-volume set Commons and Anticommons (Elgar, 2009), and co-editor of Corporate Governance Lessons from Transition Economy Reforms (Princeton University Press, 2006) (with Merritt Fox). He has published widely on property theory, including “The Tragedy of the Anticommons,” Harvard Law Review, 1998.
Prior to joining the Columbia faculty, Heller taught at the University of Michigan Law School where he received the L. Hart Wright Award for excellence in teaching. Heller has been a visiting professor at University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law and the New York University School of Law; visiting lecturer at Yale Law School; fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences; term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Olin Senior Fellow at Columbia. In the early 1990s, Heller worked at the World Bank on post-socialist property law transition. He clerked for the Honorable James R. Browning of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Land use
- Real estate law
- The Choice Theory of Contracts (with Hanoch Dagan), Cambridge University Press, 2017
- Commons and Anticommons (editor, with original introduction, 2 volumes), Edward Elgar Publishing, 2010
- The Gridlock Economy: How Too Much Property Wrecks Markets, Stops Innovation, and Costs Lives, Basic Books (2008, paperback 2010; Korea edition with an original forward, 2009; China, 2009; Taiwan, 2010; Thailand, 2011)
- Corporate Governance Lessons from Transition Economy Reforms, Princeton University Press (co-edited with Merritt Fox, 2006, paperback 2008)
- “An Overview of Anticommons Theory,” in Oxford Handbook of Law and Economics (F. Parisi, ed., Oxford University Press, 2016)
- “The Tragedy of the Anticommons: A Concise Introduction and Lexicon,” 76 Modern Law Review 6 (2013)
- “Land Assembly Districts,” 121 Harvard Law Review 1465 (with Rick Hills) (2008)
- “The Rose Theorem?” 18 Yale Journal of Law and Humanities 29 (2006)
- “Conflicts in Property,” 6 Theoretical Inquiries in Law 37 (2005) (with Hanoch Dagan)
- “The Liberal Commons,” 110 Yale Law Journal 549 (2001) (with Hanoch Dagan)
- “The Dynamic Analytics of Property Law,” 2 Theoretical Inquiries in Law 79 (2001)
- “The Boundaries of Private Property,” 108 Yale Law Journal 1163 (1999)
- “Deterrence and Distribution in the Law of Takings,” 112 Harvard Law Review 997 (1999) (with James E. Krier)
- “Can Patents Deter Innovation? The Anticommons in Biomedical Research,” 280 Science 698 (1998) (with Rebecca S. Eisenberg)
- “The Tragedy of the Anticommons: Property in the Transition from Marx to Markets,” 111 Harvard Law Review 621 (1998)