Is Antitrust Too Complicated for Generalist Judges? The Impact of Economic Complexity and Judicial Training on Appeals
AbstractModern antitrust litigation sometimes involves complex expert economic and econometric analysis. While this boom in the demand for economic analysis and expert testimony has clearly improved the welfare of economists—and schools offering basic economic training to judges—little is known about the empirical effects of economic complexity or judges' economic training on decision-making in antitrust litigation. We use a unique data set on antitrust litigation in district courts during 1996—2006 to examine whether economic complexity impacts decisions in antitrust cases, and thereby provide a novel test of the frequently asserted hypothesis that antitrust analysis has become too complex for generalist judges. We also examine the impact of one institutional response to economic complexity - basic economic training by 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 results are robust to a variety of controls, including the type of case, circuit, and the political party of the judge. Our tentative conclusion, based on a revealed preference argument that views a party’s appeal decision as an indication that the district court got the economics wrong, is that there is support for the hypothesis that some antitrust cases are too complicated for generalist judges.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy in its series Working Papers with number 2008-19.
Date of creation: Nov 2008
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antitrust; Daubert; complexity; economic training; expert witness;
Other versions of this item:
- Michael R. Baye & Joshua D. Wright, 2011. "Is Antitrust Too Complicated for Generalist Judges? The Impact of Economic Complexity and Judicial Training on Appeals," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 1 - 24.
- A2 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics
- A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
- K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
- K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process
- L4 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-01-24 (All new papers)
- NEP-COM-2009-01-24 (Industrial Competition)
- NEP-HPE-2009-01-24 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-IND-2009-01-24 (Industrial Organization)
- NEP-LAW-2009-01-24 (Law & Economics)
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.:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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