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The impact of the number of courts on the demand for trials

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  • Nathalie Chappe

    ()
    (CRESE, Université de Franche-comté)

  • Marie Obidzinski

    ()
    (CRESE, Université de Franche-comté)

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    Abstract

    The recent reforms of the "judicial map" in Europe have drastically reduced the number of courts, raising fears of a decline in access to justice. This paper addresses this issue through a litigation model within a Salop (1979) model. We assume that victims of accidents differ both in terms of compensatory damages expected and in terms of distance from court. Due to distance costs, it might be too expensive to file cases for some victims with low expected awards. Therefore, the demand for trials is reduced by a decrease in the number of courts when the probability of an accident is exogenous. However, the link between the number of courts and the demand for trials is not clear cut when the probability of an accident occurring is determined by the defendant through his level of care. Furthermore, we determine the optimal number of courts.

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    File URL: http://crese.univ-fcomte.fr/WP-2013-01.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2013
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by CRESE in its series Working Papers with number 2013-01.

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    Length: 23 pages
    Date of creation: Jan 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:crb:wpaper:2013-01

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    Related research

    Keywords: litigation; number of courts; distance costs; access to justice;

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    1. Brekke, Kurt R. & Siciliani, Luigi & Straume, Odd Rune, 2008. "Competition and waiting times in hospital markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(7), pages 1607-1628, July.
    2. Gravelle, H. S. E., 1990. "Rationing trials by waiting: Welfare implications," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 255-270, December.
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