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Why Stare Decisis?

Author

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  • Anderlini, Luca
  • Felli, Leonardo
  • Riboni, Alessandro

Abstract

All Courts rule ex-post, after most economic decisions are sunk. This might generate a time-inconsistency problem. From an ex-ante perspective, Courts will have the (ex-post) temptation to be excessively lenient. This observation is at the root of the principle of stare decisis. Stare decisis forces Courts to weigh the benefits of leniency towards the current parties against the beneficial effects that tougher decisions have on future ones. We study these dynamics and find that stare decisis guarantees that precedents evolve towards ex-ante efficient decisions, thus alleviating the Courts’ time-inconsistency problem. However, the dynamics do not converge to full efficiency

Suggested Citation

  • Anderlini, Luca & Felli, Leonardo & Riboni, Alessandro, 2011. "Why Stare Decisis?," CEPR Discussion Papers 8266, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8266
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    Cited by:

    1. Luca Anderlini & Leonardo Felli & Giovanni Immordino & Alessandro Riboni, 2013. "Legal Institutions, Innovation, And Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 54, pages 937-956, August.
    2. Nicola Gennaioli & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto, 2015. "Optimally vague contracts and the law," Economics Working Papers 1410, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jan 2017.
    3. Gennaioli, Nicola & Ponzetto, Giacomo AM, 2015. "Legal Evolution and Contract Evolution under Imperfect Enforcement," CEPR Discussion Papers 10700, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Nicola Gennaioli & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto, 2015. "Contract Innovation and Legal Evolution under Imperfect Enforcement," Working Papers 836, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    5. Guerriero, Carmine, 2016. "Endogenous legal traditions," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 49-69.
    6. repec:dau:papers:123456789/7722 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Case Law; Precedents; Stare Decisis; Time-Inconsistency;

    JEL classification:

    • C79 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Other
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • D89 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Other
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

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