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Professional Autonomy and the Cost of Legal Aid


  • Gray, Alastair
  • Rickman, Neil
  • Fenn, Paul


This paper considers whether lawyers, acting as agents, respond to financial incentives which are extraneous to their clients' requirements. The authors take, as a case study, lawyers performing legal aid work in England and Wales. An empirical model of legal aid expenditure variations across areas in relation to changes in the demand for conveyancing services and the structure of the industry is estimated using dynamic panel data methods. The results may help to explain rising government legal aid expenditure in recent years. Copyright 1999 by Royal Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Gray, Alastair & Rickman, Neil & Fenn, Paul, 1999. "Professional Autonomy and the Cost of Legal Aid," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 545-558, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:51:y:1999:i:3:p:545-58

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nicholas Kaldor, 1975. "What is Wrong with Economic Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 89(3), pages 347-357.
    2. Kaldor, Nicholas [Lord], 1976. "Inflation and Recession in the World Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 86(344), pages 703-714, December.
    3. Costabile, Lilia & Rowthorn, Bob, 1985. "Malthus's Theory of Wages and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(378), pages 418-437, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Neil Rickman & Robert Witt, 2008. "Favouritism and Financial Incentives: A Natural Experiment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(298), pages 296-309, May.
    2. Antony Dnes & Neil Rickman, 1998. "Contracts for Legal Aid: A Critical Discussion of Government Policy Proposals," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 247-265, May.
    3. Stephen, Frank H. & Fazio, Giorgio & Tata, Cyrus, 2008. "Incentives, criminal defence lawyers and plea bargaining," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 212-219, September.
    4. Qiao, Yue, 2013. "Legal effort and optimal legal expenses insurance," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 179-189.

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