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How the Market Solves an Assignment Problem: The Matching of Lawyers with Legal Claims


  • Spurr, Stephen J


In the market for lawyers, observable data on promotion and turnover can be explained by reference to the idea that there is positive assortative mating of lawyers and legal claim s. There is a scale-of-resources effect, under which it is optimal to assign larger claims to lawyers of higher quality. In a law firm, th e institution of "tenure" performs a sorting function. Lawyers foun d to be of high quality are given tenured positions and the rest leav e. The value of legal claims handled by a firm determines its sorting problem, which in turn determines its promotion ladder and turnover. Copyright 1987 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Spurr, Stephen J, 1987. "How the Market Solves an Assignment Problem: The Matching of Lawyers with Legal Claims," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(4), pages 502-532, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:5:y:1987:i:4:p:502-32

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Harris Milton & Townsend, Robert M, 1981. "Resource Allocation under Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(1), pages 33-64, January.
    6. Fama, Eugene F, et al, 1969. "The Adjustment of Stock Prices to New Information," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 10(1), pages 1-21, February.
    7. Christopher J. Flinn & James J. Heckman, 1982. "Models for the Analysis of Labor Force Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 0857, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    9. Jarrell, Gregg A, 1981. "The Economic Effects of Federal Regulation of the Market for New Security Issues," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 613-675, December.
    10. John G. Cragg & Russell S. Uhler, 1970. "The Demand for Automobiles," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 3(3), pages 386-406, August.
    11. Gary Chamberlain, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 225-238.
    12. Michael G. Abbott, 1982. "Specification Tests of Quarterly Econometric Models of Aggregate Strike Frequency in Canada," Working Papers 527, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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    Cited by:

    1. Derek Neal & Sherwin Rosen, 1998. "Theories of the Distribution of Labor Earnings," NBER Working Papers 6378, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Statistics Canada, 2006. "The Importance of Signalling in Job Placement and Promotion," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2006236e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    3. Robert M. Sauer, 1998. "Job Mobility and the Market for Lawyers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 147-171, February.
    4. Linda Y. Wong, 2003. "Structural Estimation of Marriage Models," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(3), pages 699-728, July.
    5. Baptista, Rui & Lima, Francisco & Preto, Miguel Torres, 2012. "How former business owners fare in the labor market? Job assignment and earnings," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 263-276.
    6. Koch, Alexander K. & Peyrache, Eloic, 2005. "Tournaments, Individualized Contracts and Career Concerns," IZA Discussion Papers 1841, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Nuno Garoupa & Fernando Gómez, 2002. "Cashing by the hour: Why large law firms prefer hourly fees over contingent fees," Economics Working Papers 639, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    8. Alexander K. Koch & Eloïc Peyrache, 2011. "Aligning Ambition and Incentives," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(3), pages 655-688.
    9. Fang, Jieyan & Kempf, Alexander & Trapp, Monika, 2014. "Fund Manager Allocation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(3), pages 661-674.
    10. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pb:p:2373-2437 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Heisz, Andrew & Oreopoulos, Philip, 2006. "Importance des signaux de competence pour l'obtention d'un emploi et de l'avancement," Direction des etudes analytiques : documents de recherche 2006236f, Statistics Canada, Direction des etudes analytiques.
    12. Gregory Dow, 2014. "Partnership markets with adverse selection," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 18(2), pages 105-126, June.
    13. Zamir Eyal & Medina Barak & Segal Uzi, 2014. "Who Benefits from the Uniformity of Contingent Fee Rates?," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(3), pages 357-387, January.
    14. Jiawei Chen, 2006. "Two-Sided Matching and Spread Determinants in the Loan Market," Working Papers 060702, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.

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