Robert E. Litan to Receive First Massey Prize for Research in Law, Innovation and Capital Markets

Oct. 10, 2011

AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas School of Law will honor economist and scholar Robert E. Litan as the inaugural recipient of the $50,000 Massey Prize for Research in Law, Innovation and Capital Markets.

Litan will speak and be honored at the Massey Prize Symposium on Friday, Nov. 11, at the University of Texas School of Law.

Litan is the vice president for research and policy at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Mo., where he oversees the foundation's extensive program for funding data collection and research relating to entrepreneurship and economic growth.

He is also a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution, where he previously served as vice president. Litan's book "Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, and the Economics of Growth and Prosperity" (co-authored with Kauffman Foundation president Carl Schramm and New York University professor William Baumol) has been translated into 10 languages and is used as a college text around the world.

In nominating Litan for the Massey Prize, UT Law alumnus Edward S. Knight, executive vice president, general counsel and chief regulatory officer of the NASDAQ OMX Group Inc., stated: "We are in the midst of a very slow recovery from the worst financial crisis in over 70 years; that economic context motivated my nomination. The crucial importance of the capital markets and the need to reform them is widely accepted. Through his accessible, cogent and widely-followed writing, Bob Litan has had a major impact on the debate about how to accomplish the needed reforms. His scholarship is grounded in his deep understanding of the core subjects, the policy making process and the regulatory scene."

The Massey Prize was established by John H. Massey, chairman of Neuberger Berman Alternatives Advisers LLC, and his wife Elizabeth Shatto Massey. John Massey said they sought to recognize "the importance of public policy and the rule of law in its impact on the capital markets, and therefore on the sustainability of a nation's long-term potentials for growth, economic development and the accompanying high standards of living."

Dean Larry Sager of the Law School said, "I am thrilled that UT Law is implementing the Masseys' vision. The economic roller coaster of the last decade demonstrates the importance of financial markets and innovation, and the law that controls them. Creating a prize to spur debate on these issues could not be more timely."

At the Massey Prize Symposium, Litan will speak on "The Political Economy of Dodd-Frank: A Look Ahead." He will focus on the impact of the 2010 legislation designed to more closely regulate the banking industry.

Other speakers will include:

  • Diana Henriques, New York Times senior financial writer and author of "The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust;"
  • Charles R. Plott, professor of economics and political science at the California Institute of Technology;
  • Thomas Gilligan, dean of the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin; and
  • Paul Atkins, a former commissioner on the Securities and Exchange Commission, now with Sphere Consulting.

"The Massey Symposium will speak both to those who already have expertise on the financial markets and to those who are just starting to learn," said Matthew Spitzer, director of the Center for Law, Business and Economics and professor of law and business.

The Massey Prize Symposium is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact: Kirston Fortune.