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Comparative Analysis of Litigation Systems: An Auction-Theoretic Approach

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  • Michael R. Baye
  • Dan Kovenock
  • Casper De Vries

Abstract

A simple auction-theoretic framework is used to examine symmetric litigation environments where the legal ownership of a disputed asset is unknown by the court. The court observes only the quality of the case presented by each party, and awards the asset to the party presenting the best case. Rational litigants influence the quality of their cases by hiring skillful attorneys. This framework permits us to compare the equilibrium legal expenditures that arise under a continuum of legal systems. The British rule, American rule, and some recently proposed legal reforms are special cases of our model.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2000/wp-cesifo-2000-11/cesifo_wp373.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 373.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_373

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Keywords: Auctions; contests; litigation; fee-shifting;

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References

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  1. Posner, Richard A, 1997. "Explaining the Variance in the Number of Tort Suits across U.S. States and between the United States and England," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 477-89, June.
  2. Waldfogel, Joel, 1998. "Reconciling Asymmetric Information and Divergent Expectations Theories of Litigation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 451-76, October.
  3. Roger B. Myerson, 1978. "Optimal Auction Design," Discussion Papers 362, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Polinsky, A Mitchell & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1998. "Does the English Rule Discourage Low-Probability-of-Prevailing Plaintiffs?," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 519-35, June.
  5. Hause, John C, 1989. "Indemnity, Settlement, and Litigation, or I'll Be Suing You," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 157-79, January.
  6. Steven A. Matthews, 1995. "A Technical Primer on Auction Theory I: Independent Private Values," Discussion Papers 1096, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. Bebchuk, Lucian Arye & Chang, Howard F, 1996. "An Analysis of Fee Shifting Based on the Margin of Victory: On Frivolous Suits, Meritorious Suits, and the Role of Rule 11," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(2), pages 371-403, June.
  8. Gong, Jiong & McAfee, R Preston, 2000. "Pretrial Negotiation, Litigation, and Procedural Rules," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 38(2), pages 218-38, April.
  9. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Daniel L. Rubinfeld, 1996. "Optimal Awards and Penalties When the Probability of Prevailing Varies Among Plaintiffs," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(2), pages 269-280, Summer.
  10. Che, Yeon-Koo & Gale, Ian, 1998. "Standard Auctions with Financially Constrained Bidders," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 1-21, January.
  11. Paul Klemperer, 2000. "Applying Auction Theory to Economics," Economics Series Working Papers 1, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  12. Snyder, Edward A & Hughes, James W, 1990. "The English Rule for Allocating Legal Costs: Evidence Confronts Theory," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 345-80, Fall.
  13. Spier, Kathryn E, 1992. "The Dynamics of Pretrial Negotiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 93-108, January.
  14. Hughes, James W & Snyder, Edward A, 1995. "Litigation and Settlement under the English and American Rules: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(1), pages 225-50, April.
  15. Steven Shavell, 1981. "Suit and Settlement vs. Trial: A Theoretical Analysis under Alternative Methods for the Allocation of Legal Costs," NBER Working Papers 0662, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Schweizer, Urs, 1989. "Litigation and Settlement under Two-Sided Incomplete Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 163-77, April.
  17. Cooter, Robert D & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1989. "Economic Analysis of Legal Disputes and Their Resolution," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 1067-97, September.
  18. Kathryn E. Spier, 1994. "Pretrial Bargaining and the Design of Fee-Shifting Rules," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 197-214, Summer.
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