A Theory of Rational Jurisprudence
AbstractWe examine a dynamic model of up-or-down problem solving. A decision maker can either spend resources investigating a new problem before deciding what to do or decide on the basis of similarity with precedent problems. Over time, a decision-making framework, or jurisprudence, develops. We focus on the model’s application to judge-made law. We show that judges summarily apply precedent in some cases. The law may converge to efficient or inefficient rules. With positive probability, identical cases are treated differently. As the court learns over time, inconsistencies become less likely. We discuss the existing empirical evidence and the model’s testable implications.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.
Volume (Year): 120 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 513 - 551
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE/
Other versions of this item:
- K10 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - General (Constitutional Law)
- K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Robert Cooter & Lewis Kornhauser & David Lane, 1979. "Liability Rules, Limited Information, and the Role of Precedent," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 366-373, Spring.
- Joshua Schwartzstein & Andrei Shleifer, 2009.
"An Activity-Generating Theory of Regulation,"
NBER Working Papers
14752, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dari-Mattiacci, Giuseppe & Deffains, Bruno & Lovat, Bruno, 2011. "The dynamics of the legal system," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 95-107.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.