Reconciling Asymmetric Information and Divergent Expectations Theories of Litigation
Both asymmetric information (AI) and divergent expectations (DE) theories offer possible explanations of the litigation puzzle. Under DE, cases proceed to trial when, by chance, the plaintiff is more optimistic than the defendant. As the fraction of cases tried (T) declines, this leads to a tendency toward 50 percent plaintiff win rates at trial (P), regardless of the fraction of plaintiff winners in the filed population. Under AI, by contrast, informed parties proceed to trial only when they expect to win. Hence, as the fraction of cases tried declines, plaintiff win rates at trial tend toward either 0 or 1. We present evidence that the relationship between T and P generated by the litigation process is consistent with DE and not AI. We also offer evidence of the presence of AI early in litigation in the form of one-sided plaintiff win rates in cases adjudicated prior to trial. We reconcile these two findings with evidence that pretrial adjudication and settlement culls both likely plaintiff winners and likely plaintiff losers from the filed pool, causing a tendency toward central rather than extreme plaintiff win rates at trial.
|Date of creation:||Feb 1998|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Journal of Law & Economics, Vol. 41, no. 2, part 1 (October 1998): 451-476.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- 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.
- Froeb, Luke, 1993. "The adverse selection of cases for trial," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 317-324, September.
- William M. Landes, 1974.
"An Economic Analysis of the Courts,"
in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 164-214
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Grossman, Gene M & Katz, Michael L, 1983. "Plea Bargaining and Social Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 749-57, September.
- Barry Nalebuff, 1987. "Credible Pretrial Negotiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(2), pages 198-210, Summer.
- 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.
- Joel Waldfogel, 1993. "The Selection Hypothesis and the Relationship between Trial and Plaintiff Victory," NBER Working Papers 4508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Spier, Kathryn E, 1992. "The Dynamics of Pretrial Negotiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 93-108, January.
- Lucian Arye Bebchuk, 1984. "Litigation and Settlement under Imperfect Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(3), pages 404-415, Autumn.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6409. 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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.