IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jeborg/v79y2011i1-2p80-94.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

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

Author

Listed:
  • Hadfield, Gillian K.

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Hadfield, Gillian K., 2011. "The dynamic quality of law: The role of judicial incentives and legal human capital in the adaptation of law," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(1-2), pages 80-94, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:79:y:2011:i:1-2:p:80-94
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    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 search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "The Regulation of Entry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 1-37.
    2. Leonardo Felli & Alessandro Riboni & Luca Anderlini, 2007. "Statute Law or Case Law?," 2007 Meeting Papers 952, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Cristian Pop-Eleches & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Judicial Checks and Balances," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 445-470, April.
    4. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Legal Origins," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1193-1229.
    5. Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 2007. "The Evolution of Common Law," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 43-68.
    6. repec:hrv:faseco:30728041 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Juan C. Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "The Regulation of Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1339-1382.
    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. 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 1131-1150, July.
    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. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
    12. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1986. "Relying on the Information of Interested Parties," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 18-32, Spring.
    13. repec:hrv:faseco:30747190 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Keith N. Hylton, 2006. "Information, Litigation, and Common Law Evolution," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 33-61.
    15. 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.
    16. Steven Shavell, 2007. "Optimal Discretion in the Application of Rules," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 175-194.
    17. 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.
    18. 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 503-525, Part I Ju.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Dari-Mattiacci, Giuseppe & Deffains, Bruno & Lovat, Bruno, 2011. "The dynamics of the legal system," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(1-2), pages 95-107, June.
    2. Brousseau, Eric & Garrouste, Pierre & Raynaud, Emmanuel, 2011. "Institutional changes: Alternative theories and consequences for institutional design," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(1-2), pages 3-19, June.
    3. Pavel Kuchař, 2016. "Entrepreneurship and institutional change," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 349-379, May.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.