About UCL Laws


PhD (1991), JD, (Michigan, 1982)
Professor of Law and Economics 1998 - present

Tel: 44 (0)20 7679 5831
Email: tim.swanson@ucl.ac.uk
Administrator: Anna Schüle
+44 (0)20 7679 1407 | internal:x21407

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Professor Swanson is the Chair of Law & Economics in Faculty of Laws with teaching responsibilities in the Department of Economics and the School of Public Policy. He participates in both the Centre for Law and the Environment (Laws) and the Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (Economics).

He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the London School of Economics and the J.D. from Michigan Law School. He was a Lecturer in Law & Economics, University College London, 1987-1991; a Lecturer in Economics, Cambridge University, 1991-1997 and became Professor of Law & Economics at UCL Laws in 1998. He has advised many national and international agencies (UNEP, World Bank, China Council) on issues relating to environmental and technological management and regulation. His current areas of research include intellectual property rights, technological diffusion, and biotechnology management.

A) Current EU Research Projects

Aquastress (2003-2008)
Interdisciplinary analysis of water management problems, focusing on collective action problems in Tunisia and water demand management in Portugal. Xiaoying Liu is the research assistant involved.

RefGov (2005-2008)
Legal and economic analysis of the provision of global public goods, focusing on the problem of indigenous knowledge and its use in R&D in western industries. Mare Sarr is the research assistant involved.

ExioPol (2007-2009)
Analysis of the interaction between biodiversity reserves and agricultural production systems in the EU, focusing on a case study of Natura2000 reserves in the UK. Dr. Andreas Kontoleon is the research assistant involved.

POPP (2008-2010)
Analysis of economic instruments in environmental regulation, focusing on the role of eco-labelling in informing consumers. Dr. Andreas Kontoleon is the research assistant involved.

B) Current PhD Students

  • Shin Wei Ng (laws)
    Evolution of Property Rights in China
  • Javier Tapia (laws)
    The Political Economy of Energy Regulation
  • Shaun Larcom (laws)
    Analysis of Justice in Indigenous Legal Systems
  • Mare Sarr (economics)
    North South relations, resources and conflict.
  • Xiaoying Liu (economics)
    Forest management in China.

Recent publications

  • The Value of Genetic Resources for R&D: A Survey, (with Sarr and Goeschl), Ecological Economics,2008.
  • Re-Telling the Tale of the Commons: Governance Problems as Commons Problems, International Review of Environmental Economics, 1(1), 2007.
  • Valuing Complex Goods: Can you get anything out of an expert other than an opinion? (with Groom and Kontoleon), Research in Law & Economics, 31:350-385, 2007.
  • “Economic Evaluation of Projects Involving Forced Population Displacements”, (with David Pearce) in Cernea (ed.) The Problem of Forced Population Displacement, Oxford University Press:2007.
  • “Designing the Legacy Library for Genetic Resources” in Kontoleon, Pascual and Swanson (eds.), Biodiversity Economics, Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  • “Conflicts in Conservation: the many values of the black rhinoceros”, (with Andreas Kontoleon) in Koundouri,P. (ed.) Economics Informing Natural Resource Management, Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, 2005.
  • “Diffusion and Distribution: the impacts of technological enforcement on poor countries”, in Maskus,K. and Reichman,J. (eds.) International Public Goods & Transfer of Technology Under a Globalised Intellectual Property Regime, Cambridge University Press:Cambridge, 2004.

Current Working Papers

  • “On the Looting of Countries: Dictators and the Resource Curse” (with Erwin Bulte, Chris Meissner and Mare Sarr).
  • “Economics of IPR and Traditional Knowledge”, (with Sarr), presented at BioEcon VIII, Kings College Cambridge.
  • “The Impact of the NFPP on the Rural Poor in China: Regulatory Taking or Environmental Regulation?”, (with Kontoleon and Mullan), presented at BioEcon VIII, Kings College Cambridge.
  • “Regulating Land Use in Rural China: Sequential versus Vertical Regulation” (with Ng), presented at workshop at Tsinghua University Environmental Law Centre, Beijing.
  • “The Incidence of Water Pricing on the Poor in China”, (with Groom, Liu and Zhang) Paper prepared in course of China Council programme on environment policy and poverty alleviation.
  • “The Impact of the Sloped Land Conversion Programme in China” (with Kontoleon, Grosjean and Zhang) Paper prepared in course of China Council programme on environmental policy and poverty alleviation. Presented at BioEcon VII and European Economic Association Meetings.
  • “International Incidence of International Agreements: do latecomers lose out”, (with Robin Mason). Paper presented at workshops at University of Wisconsin, Duke University.

Current Teaching
International Environmental Law (Law LLM)
The Law and Economics of Regulated Industries, Markets and Networks (Law LLM and SPP)
Law and Economics (Econ)
Microeconomics for Public Policy (MPP) (Econ)
Global Environmental Problems (GEP) (Econ)


This page last modified 27 November, 2009 by Laws Webmaster