IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Government as Litigant: Further Tests of the Case Selection Model


  • Theodore Eisenberg
  • Henry Farber


We develop a model of the plaintiff's decision to file a lawsuit that has implications for how differences between the federal government and private litigants translate into differences in trial rates and plaintiff win rates at trial. Our case selection model generates a set of predictions for relative trial rates and plaintiff win rates, depending on the type of case and whether the government is defendant or plaintiff. To test the model, we use data on about 474,000 cases filed in federal district court between 1979 and 1994 in the areas of personal injury and job discrimination, in which the federal government and private parties work under roughly similar legal rules. We find broad support for the predictions of the model. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Theodore Eisenberg & Henry Farber, 2003. "The Government as Litigant: Further Tests of the Case Selection Model," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 94-133.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:amlawe:v:5:y:2003:i:1:p:94-133

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Farber, Henry S & Bazerman, Max H, 1987. "Why Is There Disagreement in Bargaining?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 347-352, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. Yu Hsing, 2006. "Responses of output in Poland to shocks to the exchange rate, the stock price, and other macroeconomic variables: a VAR model," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(15), pages 1017-1022.
    2. Sofia Amaral-Garcia, 2015. "Non-economic Damages in Medical Malpractice Appeals: Does the Jurisdiction Make a Difference?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1506, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Roland Kirstein & Neil Rickman, 2004. ""Third Party Contingency" Contracts in Settlement and Litigation," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 160(4), pages 555-555, December.
    4. Pierre Bentata & Yolande Hiriart, 2015. "Biased Judges: Evidence from French Environmental Cases," Working Papers hal-01377922, HAL.
    5. Yuhsing, 2006. "Macroeconomic policies and output fluctuations in slovakia: Application of the taylor rule," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 53(2), pages 249-259, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N72 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-


    Access and download statistics


    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:oup:amlawe:v:5:y:2003:i:1:p:94-133. 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: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    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.