‘Macromedical’ Regulation

This seminar is co-hosted by the Centre for Business Law and Practice and the Centre for Law and Social Justice.


Steven L. Schwarcz is the Stanley A. Star Distinguished Professor of Law & Business at Duke University and Founding Director of Duke’s interdisciplinary Global Capital Markets Center (now renamed the Global Financial Markets Center). His areas of research and scholarship include insolvency and bankruptcy law, international finance, capital markets, systemic risk, corporate governance, and commercial law. He holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering (summa cum laude) and a Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School. Prior to joining the Duke faculty, he was a partner at two of the world’s leading law firms and Visiting Lecturer at Yale Law School. He also helped to pioneer the field of asset securitization, and his book, Structured Finance, A Guide to the Principles of Asset Securitization (3d edition), is one of the most widely used texts in the field. In 2021, Professor Schwarcz will take up a Liberty Fellowship at the University of Leeds. 

Barak Richman is the Katharine T. Bartlett Professor of Law at Duke University. His primary research interests include the economics of contracting, new institutional economics, antitrust, and healthcare policy. He is on the Health Sector Management faculty at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and is a Senior Fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics. Richman has an A.B., magna cum laude, from Brown University, a J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School, and a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied under Nobel Laureate in Economics Oliver Williamson. He served as a law clerk to Judge Bruce M. Selya of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and from 1994-1996 he handled international trade legislation as a staff member of the United States Senate Committee on Finance, then chaired by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. 


The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically shown that a localized disease can be transmitted to the broader population, nationally and worldwide. This Article analyzes how to design regulation to help control that transmission. To that end, we first observe that existing healthcare regulation focuses almost exclusively on regulating individual components of the medical and healthcare industry, while lacking a capacity to address how those components work together as a system—a system that pandemics can destabilize. Indeed, one factor that contributed to COVID-19’s spread was the inability of U.S. healthcare regulation to operate on a societal level, to protect certain components from the deficiencies of others. We contend that healthcare regulation must also include what we call “macromedical” regulation: regulation that focuses on protecting the stability of the U.S. healthcare sector as a system of interconnected parts. We find some useful analogies in post-crisis financial regulation, particularly in macroprudential regulation designed to protect the financial system as a system. 

This seminar will be moderated by Professor Jose Miola, University of Leeds. 

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