Litigation as a Measure of Well-Being
AbstractThe common perception is that high or growing litigation rates in a country are a sign of societal pathology. Studies of litigation rates, however, consistently report that lawsuit filings per capita increase with economic prosperity, thus suggesting that litigation rates are a natural consequence of prosperity and not necessarily evidence of an overly litigious populace. India’s substantial interstate variation in litigation rates and in economic and noneconomic measures of well-being provide an opportunity to evaluate the relation between well-being and litigation rates. Using many years of data on civil filings in India’s lower courts and High Courts, we present evidence that more prosperous states have higher civil litigation rates. We also report the first evidence that accounting for noneconomic well-being, as measured by the education and life expectancy components of the Human Development Index, explains litigation rate patterns better than using a purely economic measure of well-being, GDP per capita. Despite India’s continuing economic growth, we present data that indicates India’s enormous and growing civil case backlog has discouraged civil case filings in recent years. These findings raise the question whether India’s future economic growth will be compromised if courts at all levels, particularly lower courts, do not resolve disputes more quickly.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS in its series IEL Working Papers with number 15.
Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2013
Date of revision:
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Web page: http://polis.unipmn.it
litigation; well being; India;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process
- K49 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Other
- P59 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Other
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-03-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-HAP-2013-03-16 (Economics of Happiness)
- NEP-LAW-2013-03-16 (Law & Economics)
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