Matthew Adler

Richard A. Horvitz Professor of Law and Professor of Economics, Philosophy and Public Policy


Matthew D. Adler is the Richard A. Horvitz Professor of Law and Professor of Economics, Philosophy and Public Policy at Duke University.  He also is the founding director of the Duke Center for Law, Economics and Public Policy.  His substantive areas of expertise include administrative law and constitutional law.  His scholarship is interdisciplinary, drawing from both welfare economics and normative ethics, and currently focuses on cost-benefit analysis, happiness and public policy, and risk regulation. 

Adler is the author of numerous articles and several books, including New Foundations of Cost-Benefit Analysis (Harvard, 2006; co-authored with Eric Posner); and Well-Being and Fair Distribution: Beyond Cost-Benefit Analysis, which systematically discusses how to integrate considerations of fair distribution into policy analysis (Oxford, 2012). Adler is an editor of Legal Theory, the leading journal in the area of law and philosophy.  He is the editor (with Marc Fleurbaey) of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Well-Being and Public Policy.

Prior to joining the Duke Law faculty in July 2012 Adler was the Leon Meltzer Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law.  He has been a visiting professor at Bar-Ilan University, Columbia University, Duke, the University of Chicago, and the University of Virginia.  He was recognized by University of Pennsylvania law students in 2001 and 2006 with the Harvey Levin Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 2007, he received the University’s Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching and in 2010 the A. Leo Levin Award for Excellence in an Introductory Course.

Adler holds a B.A. and J.D. from Yale University, where he was a member of the Yale Law Journal. He also received an M. Litt. in modern history from St. Antony’s College at Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar. He clerked for Judge Harry Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 1991-1992 and for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor during the 1992-1993 term. Adler practiced litigation at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York prior to joining the University of Pennsylvania law faculty in 1995.