IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hrv/faseco/8687032.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Evolution of a Legal Rule

Author

Listed:
  • Shleifer, Andrei
  • Niblett, Anthony
  • Posner, Richard A.

Abstract

Efficient legal rules are central to efficient resource allocation in a market economy. But the question whether the common law actually converges to efficiency in commercial areas has remained empirically untested. We create a dataset of 461 state-court appellate decisions involving the economic loss rule in construction disputes and trace the evolution of this law from 1970 to 2005. We find that the law did not converge to any stable resting point and evolved differently in different states. Legal evolution is influenced by plaintiffs’ choice of which legal claims to make, the relative economic power of the parties, and nonbinding federal precedent.

Suggested Citation

  • Shleifer, Andrei & Niblett, Anthony & Posner, Richard A., 2010. "The Evolution of a Legal Rule," Scholarly Articles 8687032, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:8687032
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/8687032/Shleif_LegalRule.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 2007. "The Evolution of Common Law," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 43-68.
    2. Dari-Mattiacci, Giuseppe & Schafer, Hans-Bernd, 2007. "The core of pure economic loss," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 8-28, March.
    3. Theodore Eisenberg & Henry S. Farber, 1996. "The Litigious Plaintiff Hypothesis: Case Selection and Resolution," Working Papers 743, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    4. Kessler, Daniel & Meites, Thomas & Miller, Geoffrey P, 1996. "Explaining Deviations from the Fifty-Percent Rule: A Multimodal Approach to the Selection of Cases for Litigation," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(1), pages 233-259, January.
    5. George L. Priest & Benjamin Klein, 1984. "The Selection of Disputes for Litigation," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 1-56, January.
    6. Gomez, Fernando & Schafer, Hans-Bernd, 2007. "The law and economics of pure economic loss: Introduction to the special issue of the International Review of Law and Economics," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 1-7, March.
    7. repec:cup:apsrev:v:78:y:1984:i:04:p:891-900_25 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Goldberg, Victor P, 1994. "Recovery for Economic Loss following the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 1-39, January.
    9. Shavell, Steven, 1996. "Any Frequency of Plaintiff Victory at Trial Is Possible," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(2), pages 493-501, June.
    10. Eric A. Posner, 2010. "Professionals or Politicians: The Uncertain Empirical Case for an Elected Rather than Appointed Judiciary," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(2), pages 290-336.
    11. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Nicola Gennaioli & Enrico Perotti, 2009. "Standardized enforcement: Access to justice vs contractual innovation," Economics Working Papers 1329, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jun 2012.
    2. Matthew C. Stephenson, 2009. "Legal Realism for Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 191-211, Spring.
    3. Guido Cozzi & Silvia Galli, 2014. "Sequential R&D and blocking patents in the dynamics of growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 183-219, June.
    4. 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.
    5. Gennaioli, Nicola & Ponzetto, Giacomo AM, 2015. "Legal Evolution and Contract Evolution under Imperfect Enforcement," CEPR Discussion Papers 10700, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Leonardo Felli & Alessandro Riboni & Luca Anderlini, 2007. "Statute Law or Case Law?," 2007 Meeting Papers 952, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Anthony Niblett, 2013. "Case-by-Case Adjudication and the Path of the Law," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 303-330.
    8. Pedro Bordalo & Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 2015. "Salience Theory of Judicial Decisions," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(S1), pages 7-33.
    9. Nicola Gennaioli & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto, 2015. "Contract Innovation and Legal Evolution under Imperfect Enforcement," Working Papers 836, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    10. Guerriero, Carmine, 2016. "Endogenous legal traditions," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 49-69.
    11. Niblett, Anthony, 2013. "Tracking inconsistent judicial behavior," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 9-20.
    12. Luca Anderlini & Leonardo Felli & Alessandro Riboni, 2014. "Why Stare Decisis?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(4), pages 726-738, October.
    13. Andrei Shleifer, 2010. "Efficient Regulation," NBER Chapters,in: Regulation vs. Litigation: Perspectives from Economics and Law, pages 27-43 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Guido Cozzi & Silvia Galli, 2009. "Upstream Innovation Protection: Common Law Evolution and the Dynamics of Wage Inequality," Working Papers 2009_20, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    15. Guerriero, C., 2009. "Democracy, Judicial Attitudes and Heterogeneity: The Civil Versus Common Law Tradition," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0917, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    16. Rustam Romaniuc, 2012. "Judicial Dissent under Externalities and Incomplete Information," Czech Economic Review, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, vol. 6(3), pages 209-224, October.
    17. Jan U. Auerbach & Miguel A. Fonseca, 2017. "Preordered Service in Contract Enforcement," Discussion Papers 1704, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
    18. Robin Christmann, 2014. "No Judge, No Job! Court errors and the contingent labor contract," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 409-429, December.
    19. Flavio Menezes, 2013. "The Failure of Judges and the Rise of Regulators by Andrei Shleifer ( MIT Press , Cambridge, Massachusetts , 2012 ), pp. 343 ," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 89(287), pages 577-580, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K13 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Tort Law and Product Liability; Forensic Economics
    • K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:8687032. 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: (Office for Scholarly Communication). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/deharus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.