Michael Frakes JD, PhD

Michael Frakes

Core Faculty

Michael Frakes, JD, PhD


JD, Harvard University

PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Michael Frakes joined the Duke Law faculty in June, 2016 from Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law, where he was an associate professor. He also holds a secondary faculty appointment in the Duke Economics Department.  He 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 the relationship between the financing of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and key aspects of its decision making.  Michael also serves as a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.  While at Northwestern, Frakes also served as a faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research. He was previously an assistant professor of Law at Cornell Law School from 2011-2014.

Frakes’ scholarship has appeared in, or is forthcoming in, various economics and law & economics journals including the American Economic Review, the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of Public Economics, the Journal of Health Economics, the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, and the American Law and Economics Review, along with various law reviews including the Stanford Law Review, the University of Chicago Law Review, the Duke Law Journal, and the Vanderbilt Law Review.  He is currently serving as the Principal Investigation 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 in 2001, his JD, cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 2005, and a 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.

Rajkumar S, Venkatraman V, Zidanyue Yang L, Parente B, Lee H-J, Lad SP. Healthcare Economics of High Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation for Painful Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2024 May;18(3):635–43.

Drossopoulos PN, Sharma A, Ononogbu-Uche FC, Tabarestani TQ, Bartlett AM, Wang TY, et al. Pushing the Limits of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery-From Preoperative to Intraoperative to Postoperative Management. J Clin Med. 2024 Apr 20;13(8).

Kirsch EP, Yang LZ, Lee H-J, Parente B, Lad SP. Healthcare resource utilization for chronic low back pain among high-utilizers. Spine J. 2024 Apr;24(4):601–16.