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Comparative Analysis of Litigation Systems: An Auction-Theoretic Approach

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

A simple auction-theoretic framework is used to examine symmetric litigation environments where the legal ownership of a disputed asset is unknown to 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 skilful attorneys. This framework permits us to compare the equilibrium legal expenditures that arise under a continuum of legal systems. The British rule, Continental rule, American rule, and some recently proposed legal reforms are special cases of our model. Copyright 2005 Royal Economic Society.

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File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2005.01010.x
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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 115 (2005)
Issue (Month): 505 (07)
Pages: 583-601

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:115:y:2005:i:505:p:583-601
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  1. Jennifer F. Reinganum & Louise L. Wilde, 1986. "Settlement, Litigation, and the Allocation of Litigation Costs," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(4), pages 557-566, Winter.
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  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
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  19. 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.
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