IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The dynamic quality of law: The role of judicial incentives and legal human capital in the adaptation of law

  • Hadfield, Gillian K.
Registered author(s):

    In this paper I show that the capacity for a legal regime to generate value-enhancing legal adaptation to local and changing conditions through adjudication depends on its capacity to generate and implement adequate expertise about the environment in which law is applied (shared legal human capital). I present a model in which welfare-promoting adaptation of legal rules depends on the incentives of both judges (to risk rule change) and litigants (to bear the cost associated with informing the court about novel features of the environment and alternative rules.) I demonstrate that a legal system will not adapt through adjudication if legal costs relative to damages are either too high or too low, if judicial incentives for change are inadequate or if judicial error rates are initially too high. Comparatively, I show that a legal regime is likely to do better with improved mechanisms for processing information system-wide to reduce judicial error and lower absolute legal costs, but that other apparently beneficial institutional features such as lower relative legal costs, judges who are more willing to adapt law or who make fewer initial errors may or may not lead to lower welfare overall.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268111000709
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

    Volume (Year): 79 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1-2 (June)
    Pages: 80-94

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:79:y:2011:i:1-2:p:80-94
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

    References listed on IDEAS
    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.:

    as in new window
    1. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Cristian Pop-Eleches & Andrei Shleifer, 2003. "Judicial Checks and Balances," NBER Working Papers 9775, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Leonardo Felli & Alessandro Riboni & Luca Anderlini, 2007. "Statute Law or Case Law?," 2007 Meeting Papers 952, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Paul R. Milgrom & John Roberts, 1985. "Relying on the Information of Interested Parties," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 749, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    4. La Porta, Rafael & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. " Legal Determinants of External Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1131-50, July.
    5. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 2001. "Legal Origins," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1920, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    6. Juan Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael LaPorta & Florencio López-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, . "The Regulation of Labor," Working Paper 19483, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    7. Keith N. Hylton, 2006. "Information, Litigation, and Common Law Evolution," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 33-61.
    8. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Courts: the Lex Mundi Project," NBER Working Papers 8890, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "The Regulation Of Entry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 1-37, February.
    10. Hyun Song Shin, 1998. "Adversarial and Inquisitorial Procedures in Arbitration," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(2), pages 378-405, Summer.
    11. Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 2007. "The Evolution of Common Law," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 43-68.
    12. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1998. "Law and Finance," Scholarly Articles 3451310, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    13. Robert Cooter & Lewis Kornhauser & David Lane, 1979. "Liability Rules, Limited Information, and the Role of Precedent," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 366-373, Spring.
    14. Luca Anderlini & Leonardo Felli & Alessandro Riboni, 2008. "Statute Law or Case Law?," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series /2008/528, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    15. Hadfield, Gillian K., 2008. "The levers of legal design: Institutional determinants of the quality of law," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 43-73, March.
    16. Mahoney, Paul G, 2001. "The Common Law and Economic Growth: Hayek Might Be Right," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 503-25, Part I Ju.
    17. Steven Shavell, 2007. "Optimal Discretion in the Application of Rules," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 175-194.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:79:y:2011:i:1-2:p:80-94. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.