The Effect of Electoral Institutions on Tort Awards
AbstractWe argue that partisan elected judges have an incentive to redistribute wealth from out-of-state defendants (nonvoters) to in-state plaintiffs (voters). We first test the hypothesis by using cross-state data. We find a significant partisan effect after controlling for differences in injuries, state incomes, poverty levels, selection effects, and other factors. One difference that appears difficult to control for is that each state has its own tort law. In cases involving citizens of different states, federal judges decide disputes by using state law. Using these diversity-of-citizenship cases, we conclude that differences in awards are caused by differences in electoral systems, not by differences in state law. Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Oxford University Press in its journal American Law and Economics Review.
Volume (Year): 4 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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Other versions of this item:
- Helland, Eric & Tabarrok, Alex, 2002. "The Effect of Electoral Institutions on Tort Awards," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt8rm9358c, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
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