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Stampede to Judgment: Persuasive Influence and Herding Behavior by Courts

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  • Daughety, Andrew F
  • Reinganum, Jennifer F

Abstract

We model appeals courts as Bayesian decision makers with private information about a supreme court's interpretation of the law; each court also observes the previous decisions of other appeals courts in similar cases. Such "persuasive influence" can cause "herding" behavior by later appeals courts as decisions progressively rely more on previous decisions and less on a court's private information. We provide an example drawn from a recent United States Supreme Court decision finding unconstitutional a basic provision of a law previously found constitutional by six circuit courts. Herding on the wrong decision may remain uncorrected, since review of harmonious decisions is rare. Copyright 1999 by Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal American Law and Economics Review.

Volume (Year): 1 (1999)
Issue (Month): 1-2 (Fall)
Pages: 158-89

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Handle: RePEc:oup:amlawe:v:1:y:1999:i:1-2:p:158-89

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Cited by:
  1. Leonardo Felli & Alessandro Riboni & Luca Anderlini, 2007. "Statute Law or Case Law?," 2007 Meeting Papers 952, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Levy, Gilat, 2003. "Careerist Judges," CEPR Discussion Papers 3948, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Harnay, Sophie & Marciano, Alain, 2003. "Judicial conformity versus dissidence: an economic analysis of judicial precedent," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 405-420, December.
  4. Magnus Söderberg & Flavio Menezes & Miguel Santolino, 2013. "Regulatory behaviour under threat of court reversal," Working Papers hal-00874878, HAL.
  5. Fernando Gomez & Juan Ganuza, 2012. "How to build European private law: an economic analysis of the lawmaking and harmonization dimensions in European private law," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 481-503, June.
  6. Fon, Vincy & Parisi, Francesco, 2006. "Judicial precedents in civil law systems: A dynamic analysis," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 519-535, December.
  7. Gilat Levy, 2005. "Careerist judges," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 939, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Anderlini, Luca & Felli, Leonardo & Riboni, Alessandro, 2011. "Why Stare Decisis?," CEPR Discussion Papers 8266, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Gilat Levy, 2003. "Careerist judges," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3621, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  10. Kamphorst, Jurjen J.A. & Van Velthoven, Ben C.J., 2006. "The introduction of an appeals court in Dutch tax litigation," MPRA Paper 2008, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 27 Apr 2006.
  11. Marciano, Alain & Khalil, Elias L., 2012. "Optimization, Path Dependence and the Law: Can Judges Promote Efficiency?," IEL Working Papers 9, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
  12. W. Viscusi & Owen Phillips & Stephan Kroll, 2011. "Risky investment decisions: How are individuals influenced by their groups?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 81-106, October.

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