IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Empirical Study of the Civil Justice System

  • Daniel P. Kessler
  • Daniel L. Rubinfeld
Registered author(s):

    In this essay, we discuss empirical research on the economic effects of the civil justice system. We discuss research on the effects of three substantive bodies of law- contracts, torts, and property- and research on the effects of the litigation process. We begin with a review of studies of aggregate empirical trends and the important issues involving contracts and torts, both positive and normative. We survey some of the more interesting empirical issues, and we conclude with some suggestions for future work. Because studies involving property law are so divergent, there is no simple description of aggregates that adequately characterizes the subject. In its place, we offer an overview of a number of the most important issues of interest. We describe (selectively) the current state of empirical knowledge, and offer some suggestions for future research. The section on legal process builds on the previous substantive sections. With respect each of the steps, from violation to trial to appeal, we review some of the more important empirical contributions.

    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.

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10825.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10825.

    as
    in new window

    Length:
    Date of creation: Oct 2004
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: published as Kessler, Daniel P. & Rubinfeld, Daniel L., 2007. "Empirical Study of the Civil Justice System," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10825
    Note: LE
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
    Email:


    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    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.:

    as in new window
    1. Lueck, Dean, 1995. "The Rule of First Possession and the Design of the Law," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 393-436, October.
    2. Siegelman, Peter & Donohue, John J, III, 1995. "The Selection of Employment Discrimination Disputes for Litigation: Using Business Cycle Effects to Test the Priest-Klein Hypothesis," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 427-62, June.
    3. 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.
    4. Grafton, R.Q. & Squires, D. & Fox, K.J., 1998. "Private Property and Economic Efficiency: A Study of a Common-Pool Resource," Working Papers 9804e, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    5. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Eggertsson, Thrainn, 1992. "Analyzing institutional successes and failures: A millennium of common mountain pastures in Iceland," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 423-437, December.
    7. Cohen, Alma & Dehejia, Rajeev, 2004. "The Effect of Automobile Insurance and Accident Liability Laws on Traffic Fatalities," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(2), pages 357-93, October.
    8. Aaron S. Edlin., 1999. "Per-Mile Premiums for Auto Insurance," Economics Working Papers 99-262, University of California at Berkeley.
    9. Shepherd, George B., 1999. "An empirical study of the economics of pretrial discovery," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 245-263, June.
    10. Lucian Bebchuk & Alma Cohen & Allen Ferrell, 2002. "Does the Evidence Favor State Competition in Corporate Law?," NBER Working Papers 9380, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. 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 183-99, Spring.
    12. Tabarrok, Alexander & Helland, Eric, 1999. "Court Politics: The Political Economy of Tort Awards," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(1), pages 157-88, April.
    13. Lanjouw, J.O. & Levy, P.I., 1998. "Untitled: A Study of Formal and Informal Property Rights in Urban Ecuador," Papers 788, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    14. Snyder, Edward A & Hughes, James W, 1990. "The English Rule for Allocating Legal Costs: Evidence Confronts Theory," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 345-80, Fall.
    15. Waldfogel, Joel, 1995. "The Selection Hypothesis and the Relationship between Trial and Plaintiff Victory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 229-60, April.
    16. Frank A. Sloan & Lindsey M. Chepke, 2008. "Medical Malpractice," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262195720, June.
    17. Kaplow, Louis & Shavell, Steven, 2002. "Economic analysis of law," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 25, pages 1661-1784 Elsevier.
    18. Sloan, Frank A, 1990. "Experience Rating: Does It Make Sense for Medical Malpractice Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 128-33, May.
    19. Edlin, Aaron S., 2002. "Per-Mile Premiums for Auto Insurance," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt9bn436k9, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    20. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, . "The Quality of Government," Working Paper 19452, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    21. McMillan, John & Woodruff, Christopher, 1998. "Inter-Firm Relationships and Informal Credit in Vietnam," CEPR Discussion Papers 2036, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    22. Sloan, Frank A & Reilly, Bridget A & Schenzler, Christoph, 1995. "Effects of Tort Liability and Insurance on Heavy Drinking and Drinking and Driving," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(1), pages 49-77, April.
    23. Karpoff, Jonathan M & Lott, John R, Jr, 1999. "On the Determinants and Importance of Punitive Damage Awards," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(1), pages 527-73, April.
    24. Litan, Robert E, 1991. "The Safety and Innovation Effects of U.S. Liability Law: The Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 59-64, May.
    25. Wittman, Donald, 1986. "The Price of Negligence under Differing Liability Rules," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 151-63, April.
    26. Hughes, James W., 1989. "The effect of medical malpractice reform laws on claim disposition," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 57-78, June.
    27. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1995. "Alcohol Policies and Highway Vehicle Fatalities," NBER Working Papers 5195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    28. Anderson, Terry L & Lueck, Dean, 1992. "Land Tenure and Agricultural Productivity on Indian Reservations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 427-54, October.
    29. Jean O. Lanjouw & Philip I. Levy, 1998. "Untitled: A Study of Formal and Informal Property Rights in Urban Ecuador," Working Papers 788, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    30. J. David Cummins & Mary A. Weiss & Richard D. Phillips, 1999. "The Incentive Effects of No Fault Automobile Insurance," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 99-38, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
    31. Ashenfelter, Orley & Eisenberg, Theodore & Schwab, Stewart J, 1995. "Politics and the Judiciary: The Influence of Judicial Background on Case Outcomes," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 257-81, June.
    32. Perloff, Jeffrey M & Rubinfeld, Daniel L & Ruud, Paul, 1996. "Antitrust Settlements and Trial Outcomes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(3), pages 401-09, August.
    33. Devlin, Rose Anne, 1990. "Some welfare implications of no-fault automobile insurance," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 193-205, September.
    34. Richard Schmalensee & Paul L. Joskow & A. Denny Ellerman & Juan Pablo Montero & Elizabeth M. Bailey, 1998. "An Interim Evaluation of Sulfur Dioxide Emissions Trading," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 53-68, Summer.
    35. 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.
    36. Theodore Eisenberg & Henry S. Farber, 1996. "The Litigious Plaintiff Hypothesis: Case Selection and Resolution," NBER Working Papers 5649, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    37. Miceli, Thomas J & Sirmans, C F, 2000. "Partition of Real Estate; or, Breaking Up Is (Not) Hard to Do," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 783-96, June.
    38. Dubay, Lisa & Kaestner, Robert & Waidmann, Timothy, 2001. "Medical malpractice liability and its effect on prenatal care utilization and infant health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 591-611, July.
    39. Eisenberg, Theodore, 1990. "Testing the Selection Effect: A New Theoretical Framework with Empirical Tests," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 337-58, June.
    40. Lorenz, Edward, 1999. "Trust, Contract and Economic Cooperation," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(3), pages 301-15, May.
    41. Viscusi, W Kip, 1991. "The Dimensions of the Product Liability Crisis," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 147-77, January.
    42. Kessler, Daniel & McClellan, Mark, 2002. "Malpractice law and health care reform: optimal liability policy in an era of managed care," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 175-197, May.
    43. Eisenberg, Theodore, et al, 1997. "The Predictability of Punitive Damages," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 623-61, June.
    44. Anderson, Terry L & Hill, Peter J, 1990. "The Race for Property Rights," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 177-97, April.
    45. Dubay, Lisa & Kaestner, Robert & Waidmann, Timothy, 1999. "The impact of malpractice fears on cesarean section rates," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 491-522, August.
    46. Ralph E. Townsend, 1990. "Entry Restrictions in the Fishery: A Survey of the Evidence," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 66(4), pages 359-378.
    47. Libecap, Gary D & Wiggins, Steven N, 1984. "Contractual Responses to the Common Pool: Prorationing of Crude Oil Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(1), pages 87-98, March.
    48. Viscusi, W Kip, 1988. "Product Liability Litigation with Risk Aversion," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 101-21, January.
    49. Patricia M. Danzon, 1991. "Liability for Medical Malpractice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 51-69, Summer.
    50. Lueck, Dean, 1994. "Common property as an egalitarian share contract," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 93-108, September.
    51. Chaloupka, Frank J & Saffer, Henry & Grossman, Michael, 1993. "Alcohol-Control Policies and Motor-Vehicle Fatalities," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 161-86, January.
    52. Bernstein, Lisa, 1992. "Opting Out of the Legal System: Extralegal Contractual Relations in the Diamond Industry," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 115-57, January.
    53. Danzon, Patricia, 1984. "The Frequency and Severity of Medical Malpractice Claims," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 115-48, April.
    54. Arne Bigsten & Paul Collier & Stefan Dercon & Marcel Fafchamps & Bernard Gauthier & Jan Willem Gunning & Abena Oduro & Remco Oostendorp & Cathy Patillo & Mans Soderbom & Francis Teal & Albert Zeufack, 1999. "Contract Flexibility and Dispute Resolution in African Manufacturing," CSAE Working Paper Series 1999-20, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    55. Fournier, Gary M & Zuehlke, Thomas W, 1989. "Litigation and Settlement: An Empirical Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(2), pages 189-95, May.
    56. Waldfogel, Joel, 1998. "Reconciling Asymmetric Information and Divergent Expectations Theories of Litigation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 451-76, October.
    57. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Daniel L. Rubinfeld, 1996. "Optimal Awards and Penalties When the Probability of Prevailing Varies Among Plaintiffs," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(2), pages 269-280, Summer.
    58. Craswell, Richard & Calfee, John E, 1986. "Deterrence and Uncertain Legal Standards," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 279-303, Fall.
    59. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
    60. Manning, Richard L, 1997. "Products Liability and Prescription Drug Prices in Canada and the United States," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(1), pages 203-43, April.
    61. Grafton, R.Q. & squires, D. & Kirkley, J., 1995. "Turning the Tide? Private Property Rights and the Crisis of Fisheries Management," Working Papers 9505e, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    62. Anderson, C. Leigh & Swimmer, Eugene, 1997. "Some empirical evidence on property rights of first peoples," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 1-22, May.
    63. Hughes, James W & Snyder, Edward A, 1995. "Litigation and Settlement under the English and American Rules: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(1), pages 225-50, April.
    64. Helland, Eric & Tabarrok, Alexander T, 2000. "Runaway Judges? Selection Effects and the Jury," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 306-33, October.
    65. 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 259-86, October.
    66. Kranton, Rachel E. & Swamy, Anand V., 1999. "The hazards of piecemeal reform: british civil courts and the credit market in colonial India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 1-24, February.
    67. Kessler, Daniel, 1996. "Institutional Causes of Delay in the Settlement of Legal Disputes," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 432-60, October.
    68. Eric Helland & Alexander Taberrok, . "Runaway Judges? Selection Effects and the Jury," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2000-10, Claremont Colleges.
    69. Cooter, Robert D & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1994. "An Economic Model of Legal Discovery," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 435-63, January.
    70. Hay, Bruce L, 1994. "Civil Discovery: Its Effects and Optimal Scope," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 481-515, January.
    71. Daniel P. Kessler & Mark McClellan, 1996. "Do Doctors Practice Defensive Medicine?," NBER Working Papers 5466, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    72. Edlin, Aaron S., 2002. "Per-Mile Premiums for Auto Insurance," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3w26w6xp, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    73. Cooter, Robert D & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1989. "Economic Analysis of Legal Disputes and Their Resolution," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 1067-97, September.
    74. Johnston, Jason Scott & Waldfogel, Joel, 2002. "Does Repeat Play Elicit Cooperation? Evidence from Federal Civil Litigation," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 39-60, January.
    75. Agnello, Richard J & Donnelley, Lawrence P, 1975. "Property Rights and Efficiency in the Oyster Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 521-33, October.
    76. Alston, Lee J & Libecap, Gary D & Schneider, Robert, 1996. "The Determinants and Impact of Property Rights: Land Titles on the Brazilian Frontier," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 25-61, April.
    77. Schwab, Stewart, 1988. "A Coasean Experiment on Contract Presumptions," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 237-68, June.
    78. Joskow, Paul L & Schmalensee, Richard & Bailey, Elizabeth M, 1998. "The Market for Sulfur Dioxide Emissions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 669-85, September.
    79. McMillan, John & Woodruff, Christopher, 1999. "Dispute Prevention without Courts in Vietnam," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 637-58, October.
    80. Baron, Jonathan & Ritov, Ilana, 1993. " Intuitions about Penalties and Compensation in the Context of Tort Law," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 17-33, August.
    81. Viscusi, W Kip, 2001. "The Challenge of Punitive Damages Mathematics," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 313-50, Part I Ju.
    82. Kessler, Daniel & McClellan, Mark, 1996. "Do Doctors Practice Defensive Medicine?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 353-90, May.
    83. Edlin, Aaron S., 2002. "Per-Mile Premiums for Auto Insurance," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt6318920c, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    84. Manning, Richard L, 1994. "Changing Rules in Tort Law and the Market for Childhood Vaccines," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 247-75, April.
    85. Bailey, Martin J, 1992. "Approximate Optimality of Aboriginal Property Rights," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 183-98, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10825. 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: ()

    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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.