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Do Lawyer-Legislators Protect Their Business? Evidence from Voting Behavior on Tort Reforms

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  • Matter, Ulrich

    () (University of Basel)

  • Stutzer, Alois

    () (University of Basel)

Abstract

Attorneys elected to the US House of Representatives and to US state legislatures are systematically less likely to vote in favor of tort reforms that restrict tort litigation, but more likely to support bills that extend tort law. This finding is based on the analysis of 54 votes at the federal and state level between 1995 and 2012. It holds when controlling for legislators’ ideology and is particularly strong for term-limited lawyer-legislators. The empirical regularity is consistent with the hypothesis that lawyer-legislators, at least in part, pursue their business interests when voting on tort issues. Our results highlight the relevance of legislators’ identities and individual professional interests for economic policy making.

Suggested Citation

  • Matter, Ulrich & Stutzer, Alois, 2013. "Do Lawyer-Legislators Protect Their Business? Evidence from Voting Behavior on Tort Reforms," Working papers 2013/09, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  • Handle: RePEc:bsl:wpaper:2013/09
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    Cited by:

    1. Braendle, Thomas, 2013. "Do Institutions Affect Citizens' Selection into Politics?," Working papers 2013/04, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Lawyers ; legislatures ; rent-seeking ; tort law ; tort reform ; voting behavior;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • K13 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Tort Law and Product Liability; Forensic Economics

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