Michael A. Heller, a legal consultant at the World Bank since 1990, has worked on housing reform projects and housing policy issues all over the world. At Michigan, he will teach a course called "From Marx to Markets" that explores the legal tools necessary for the transition from planned to market economies. In the winter semester, he will teach property.
Heller worked on housing projects in Latin America for the Urban Institute before attending Stanford University Law School. A 1989 graduate, he was a member of the Order of the Coif and articles editor of the Stanford Journal of International Law. He clerked for the Hon. James R. Browning of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit before joining the World
He was involed in various housing reform programs in former Communist countries like Russia, Hungary, Poland and Romania. Heller worked with governments to rebuild the legal framework for institutions like private ownership and a real estate market. "It's not as simple as just passing laws. The market grows out of a web of political institutions, cultural norms and historical practices," he says. Out of these experiences, he developed the course "From Marx to Markets" that he first co-taught at Yale in 1991.
Another major World Bank project involved developing a method to measure quantitatively housing outcomes based on government economic and housing policy decisions. The methodology offers a powerful, practical tool for governments, because it takes policy evaluation out of the realm of ideology.
-- From the University of Michigan Law School's Law Quadrangle Notes, V. 37, Iss. 03 (Fall 1994).
Heller left Michigan Law in 2002 to join the Columbia Law faculty.