Evaluating the Relevance of Critical Schools of Law and Economics for the Equality Rights of Workers with Disabilities in Canada and the United States

  • Ravi A. Malhotra Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, Common Law Section, University of Ottawa; SJD, University of Toronto, 2007; LL.M., Harvard Law School, 2002.


This article examines the contributions of modern schools of law and economics to the equality rights of workers with disabilities. While neo-classical law and economics generally advocates the supremacy of free markets to operate without government interference and legal regulation, many of the newer schools of law and economics offer highly creative solutions and dynamic approaches that may offer real hope to people with disabilities. The merits and weaknesses of the theories of these modern schools are discussed in light of the social model of disability. The schools are examined by drawing on examples from Canadian and American jurisprudence. Specifically, the extent to which the schools provide robust explanations for labour market policy is explored. The author argues that neo-institutional law and economics, feminist law and economics, and critical race theory law and economics hold out the most promise for understanding the implications of the social model of disability.