Explaining the Variance in the Number of Tort Suits across U.S. States and between the United States and England
There is enormous variance across jurisdictions in the number of cases filed, even when the laws in the different jurisdictions are similar. This article is an empirical study of the variance in the number of tort cases across U.S. states (plus the District, of Columbia and England), all of which have basically similar common-law tort principles and procedures. Regression analysis reveals that explanatory variable that can be given an economic interpretation, such as income, education, and urbanization, can explain much of the variance among these jurisdictions and that cultural factors are less important. A surprising result is that, after correcting for the economic variables, England appears to be more rather than, as generally believed, much less litigious than the United States. Copyright 1997 by the University of Chicago.