This paper develops a framework to study the effects of the durability of legal allocation decisions, such as trial outcomes, regulatory enactments and property entitlements. For a party favored by the legal allocation, a more durable decision is also more costly to secure, ex-ante. Thus, it is not the greater durability of the allocation that determines whether the winner is better-off, but other factors that are affected by the durability attribute, such as the cost of securing a favorable outcome and the ability of contesting parties to affect this cost. The paper develops conditions under which greater durability is irrelevant, or even undesirable to the winner. The analysis is applied to shed light on durability doctrines relating to trial outcomes (e.g., res judicata and double jeopardy), rules and regulations (e.g., transition relief when rules change), entitlements (e.g., adverse possession and statutes of limitations), and marriages.
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Volume (Year): 1 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
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References listed on IDEAS
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- Spurr, Stephen J., 1991. "An economic analysis of collateral estoppel," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 47-61, May.
- Levmore, Saul, 1993. "The Case for Retroactive Taxation," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 265-307, June.
- Landes, William M & Posner, Richard A, 1975.
"The Independent Judiciary in an Interest-Group Perspective,"
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University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 875-901, December.
- William M. Landes & Richard A. Posner, 1975. "The Independent Judiciary in an Interest-Group Perspective," NBER Working Papers 0110, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Fischel, Daniel R & Sykes, Alan O, 1999. "Governmental Liability for Breach of Contract," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1-2), pages 313-385, Fall.
- Ben-Shahar, Omri, 1999. "The Erosion of Rights by Past Breach," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1-2), pages 190-238, Fall.
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