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Is Antitrust Too Complicated for Generalist Judges? The Impact of Economic Complexity and Judicial Training on Appeals

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  • Michael R. Baye
  • Joshua D. Wright

Abstract

The recent increase in the demand for expert economic analysis in antitrust litigation has improved the welfare of economists; however, the law and economics literature is silent on the effects of economic complexity or judges’ economic training on judicial decision making. We use a unique data set on antitrust litigation in federal district and administrative courts during 1996–2006 to examine whether economic complexity impacts antitrust decisions and provide a novel test of the hypothesis that antitrust analysis has become too complex for generalist judges. We also examine the impact of basic economic training on judges. We find that decisions involving the evaluation of complex economic evidence are significantly more likely to be appealed, and decisions of judges trained in basic economics are significantly less likely to be appealed than are decisions by their untrained counterparts. Our analysis supports the hypothesis that some antitrust cases are too complicated for generalist judges.

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File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/10.1086/652305
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File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/652305
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal The Journal of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 54 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1 - 24

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/652305

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  1. Michael J. Mandel, 1999. "Going for the Gold: Economists as Expert Witnesses," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 113-120, Spring.
  2. Richard A. Posner, 1999. "The Law and Economics of the Economic Expert Witness," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 91-99, Spring.
  3. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. R. Marselli & M. Vannini & BC. McCannon, 2013. "Bargaining in the Shadow of Arbitration," Working Paper CRENoS 201309, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.

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