A Theory of Rational Jurisprudence
We examine a dynamic model of up-or-down problem solving. A decision maker can either spend resources investigating a new problem before deciding what to do or decide on the basis of similarity with precedent problems. Over time, a decision-making framework, or jurisprudence, develops. We focus on the model's application to judge-made law. We show that judges summarily apply precedent in some cases. The law may converge to efficient or inefficient rules. With positive probability, identical cases are treated differently. As the court learns over time, inconsistencies become less likely. We discuss the existing empirical evidence and the model's testable implications.
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.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Schwartzstein, Joshua & Shleifer, Andrei, 2013.
"An Activity-Generating Theory of Regulation,"
27814564, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Joshua Schwartzstein & Andrei Shleifer, . "An Activity-Generating Theory of Regulation," Working Paper 19524, Harvard University OpenScholar.
- Joshua Schwartzstein & Andrei Shleifer, 2009. "An Activity-Generating Theory of Regulation," NBER Working Papers 14752, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert Cooter & Lewis Kornhauser & David Lane, 1979. "Liability Rules, Limited Information, and the Role of Precedent," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 366-373, Spring.
- Bailey, Martin J. & Rubin, Paul H., 1994. "A positive theory of legal change," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 467-477, December.
- Dari-Mattiacci, Giuseppe & Deffains, Bruno & Lovat, Bruno, 2011.
"The dynamics of the legal system,"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 95-107.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/666655. 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.