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Michael D Frakes

A. Kenneth Pye Distinguished Professor of Law
School of Law
Duke Law School Rm 3188, Box 90362, Durham, NC 27708
Duke Law School Rm 3188, Box 90362, Durham, NC 27708


Michael Frakes is the A. Kenneth Pye Professor of Law at Duke Law School. He holds a secondary faculty appointment in the Duke Economics Department. Frakes also serves as a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He joined the Duke Law faculty in June, 2016 from Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law, where he was an associate professor.

Frakes is generally interested in empirical research in the areas of health law and innovation policy. His research in health is largely focused on understanding how certain legal and financial incentives affect the decisions of physicians and other health care providers. His research in innovation policy centers on exploring the determinants of behaviors and outcomes at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. 

Frakes’ scholarship has appeared in leading economics, law and medicine journals, including the American Economic ReviewAmerican Economic Journal: Economic PolicyReview of Economics and StatisticsStanford Law ReviewUniversity of Chicago Law Review and JAMA

He is currently serving as the Principal Investigator on an R01 award from the NIH, exploring the effects of immunizing physicians from medical liability on the extent and quality of the medical care they deliver.

Frakes received his BS in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2001, his JD, cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 2005, and his PhD in Economics from MIT in 2009. He was an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Wilmington, Del., from 2005 to 2007. From 2009 to 2011, he was an academic fellow at the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

A. Kenneth Pye Distinguished Professor of Law · 2020 - Present School of Law
Professor of Law · 2016 - Present School of Law
Professor of Economics · 2016 - Present Economics, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
Associate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society · 2017 - Present Duke Science & Society, Initiatives
Core Faculty Member, Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy · 2019 - Present Duke-Margolis Institute for Health Policy, Initiatives

Education, Training & Certifications

Massachusetts Institute of Technology · 2009 Ph.D.
Harvard University · 2005 J.D.