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Judicial Lawmaking in a Civil Law System: Evidence from German Labor Courts of Appeal

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  • Martin Schneider

    (Institute for Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the EC, University of Trier)

Abstract

According to economic analysis, common-law courts resolve individual legal disputes and create new, judge-made law. In this article, I study both functions in a civil-law context by analyzing data for nine German labor courts of appeal (Landesarbeitsgerichte) in the period 1980-1996. Output of these courts is measured by the number of resolved cases, settlements, and published opinions. Performance in each of these measures depends on judges’ incentives and external factors, as behavioral production functions reveal: Firstly, output varies with judicial experience in a manner that suggests an impact of career concerns on effort and performance. Secondly, more change on the labor market gives rise to new legal problems and, therefore, leads to a larger number of published opinions. Since these are a proxy for judicial lawmaking, this finding suggests that judge-made law is an important ingredient of German labor law: It clarifies statutes and updates previous court opinions.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Schneider, 2002. "Judicial Lawmaking in a Civil Law System: Evidence from German Labor Courts of Appeal," IAAEG Discussion Papers until 2011 200202, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
  • Handle: RePEc:iaa:wpaper:200202
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    File Function: Revised version, 2002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Isaac Ehrlich & Richard A. Posner, 1974. "An Economic Analysis of Legal Rulemaking," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 257-286, January.
    2. William M. Landes & Richard A. Posner, 1978. "Adjudication as a Private Good," NBER Working Papers 0263, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Cohen, Mark A, 1991. "Explaining Judicial Behavior or What's "Unconstitutional" about the Sentencing Commission?," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 183-199, Spring.
    4. Cohen, Mark A., 1992. "The motives of judges: Empirical evidence from antitrust sentencing," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 13-30, March.
    5. Ramseyer, J Mark & Rasmusen, Eric B, 1997. "Judicial Independence in a Civil Law Regime: The Evidence from Japan," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(2), pages 259-286, October.
    6. Landes, William M & Posner, Richard A, 1976. "Legal Precedent: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 249-307, August.
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    1. repec:asi:ijosaa:2017:p:15-30 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    courts; internal labour markets; professionals; behavioural production functions; career concerns;

    JEL classification:

    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets
    • K31 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Labor Law
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation

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