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Institutional Causes of Delay in the Settlement of Legal Disputes

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  • Kessler, Daniel
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    Abstract

    Social costs created by delay in the resolution of legal disputes have motivated an extensive theoretical literature studying the causes of delay. However, much less work has investigated a related, more policy-relevant question: how do legal institutions empirically affect delay in settlement? Based on analysis of the timing of settlement of automobile bodily injury insurance claims, I present two major findings on this topic. First, delay in trial courts increases delay in settlement. Second, state tort laws designed to reduce delay in settlement do not work as intended. Reforms imposing prejudgment interest, which were designed to reduce delay, actually increase delay in settlement, controlling for other state-level institutional factors and the characteristics of claims. Copyright 1996 by Oxford University Press.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of Law, Economics and Organization.

    Volume (Year): 12 (1996)
    Issue (Month): 2 (October)
    Pages: 432-60

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:12:y:1996:i:2:p:432-60

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    Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK
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    Cited by:
    1. Daniel P. Kessler & Daniel L. Rubinfeld, 2004. "Empirical Study of the Civil Justice System," NBER Working Papers 10825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Kessler, Daniel P. & McClellan, Mark B., 2002. "How liability law affects medical productivity," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 931-955, November.
    3. Howard F. Chang & Hilary Sigman, 1999. "Incentives to Settle Under Joint and Several Liability," NBER Working Papers 7096, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Thomas J. Miceli, 2008. "An Equilibrium Model of Lawmaking," Working papers 2008-16, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    5. Miceli, Thomas J., 1999. "Settlement delay as a sorting device," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 265-274, June.
    6. Sloan, Frank A. & Shadle, John H., 2009. "Is there empirical evidence for "Defensive Medicine"? A reassessment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 481-491, March.
    7. Eric Helland & Jonathan Klick & Alexander Tabarrok, 2005. "Data Watch: Tort-uring the Data," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 207-220, Spring.
    8. Avraham, Ronen & Bustos, Álvaro, 2010. "The unexpected effects of caps on non-economic damages," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 291-305, December.
    9. Mallick, Indrajit, 2012. "The Socially Optimal Policy Choices by the Supreme Court – A Strategic Analysis," MPRA Paper 45042, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 14 Mar 2013.
    10. Daniel P. Kessler & Mark B. McClellan, 2000. "How Liability Law Affects Medical Productivity," NBER Working Papers 7533, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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