Legal Change: Selective Litigation, Judicial Bias, and Precedent
A key question in the literature on legal change is whether the law evolves via the conscious efforts of judges or is the result of invisible-hand processes. This paper confirms Priest's claim that when judges are unbiased, selective litigation alone can cause the law to evolve toward efficiency. However, when judges are biased, the direction of legal change depends on whether the extent of judicial bias is large enough to overcome the selective litigation effect. The paper also shows that the desirability of binding precedent lies in its ability to restrain biased judges from driving the law away from efficiency. (c) 2009 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:38:y:2009:i:1:p:157-168. 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: (Journals Division)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.