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Judicial detection skill and contractual compliance

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  • Kirstein, Roland
  • Schmidtchen, Dieter

Abstract

Mutually beneficial agreements might fail if the parties fear contractual opportunism. Litigation is supposed to be a remedy, but gives scope for another kind of opportunistic behavior which we call litigational opportunism: Even knowing that the opponent has fulfilled his obligations, a party might bring suit. We introduce a new concept, called judicial detection skill, and show that positive judicial detection skill is a prerequisite if the court system is to deter opportunistic suits and simultaneously induce bilateral contractual compliance. The traditional literature on litigation either assumes judges with zero detection skill, or simply neglects that opportunistic suits might be successful. We prove that those models are unable to provide an answer to the question of how to prevent both types of opportunism simultaneously. --

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Review of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 17 (1997)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 509-520

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Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:17:y:1997:i:4:p:509-520

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/irle

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  1. Anderson, Gary M & Shughart, William F, II & Tollison, Robert D, 1989. "On the Incentives of Judges to Enforce Legislative Wealth Transfers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 215-28, April.
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  3. Miceli, Thomas J., 1993. "Optimal deterrence of nuisance suits by repeat defendants," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 135-144, June.
  4. Rasmusen, Eric, 1994. "Judicial Legitimacy as a Repeated Game," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(1), pages 63-83, April.
  5. William M. Landes, 1974. "An Economic Analysis of the Courts," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 164-214 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Bebchuk, Lucian Arye, 1988. "Suing Solely to Extract a Settlement Offer," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 437-50, June.
  8. Heiner, Ronald Asher & Schmidtchen, Dieter, 1995. "Rational Cooperation In One-Shot Simultaneous Pd-Situations," CSLE Discussion Paper Series 95-03, Saarland University, CSLE - Center for the Study of Law and Economics.
  9. Cooter, Robert D & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1989. "Economic Analysis of Legal Disputes and Their Resolution," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 1067-97, September.
  10. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  11. George L. Priest & Benjamin Klein, 1984. "The Selection of Disputes for Litigation," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 1-56, January.
  12. Katz, Avery, 1990. "The effect of frivolous lawsuits on the settlement of litigation," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 3-27, May.
  13. Polinsky, A Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 1989. "Legal Error, Litigation, and the Incentive to Obey the Law," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 99-108, Spring.
  14. Rosenberg, D. & Shavell, S., 1985. "A model in which suits are brought for their nuisance value," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 3-13, June.
  15. Heiner, Ronald A, 1983. "The Origin of Predictable Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 560-95, September.
  16. Macey, Jonathan R, 1994. "Judicial Preferences, Public Choice, and the Rules of Procedure," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 627-46, January.
  17. Schmidtchen, Dieter & Kirstein, Roland, 1996. "Judicial Detection Skill, Litigational Opportunism, and Contractual Compliance," CSLE Discussion Paper Series 96-04, Saarland University, CSLE - Center for the Study of Law and Economics.
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