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An Equilibrium Model of Lawmaking

  • Thomas J. Miceli

    (University of Connecticut)

This paper embeds a model of lawmaking in an equilibrium framework in which the demand for trials is rationed by court delay. The lawmaking process depends on a combination of selective litigation, judicial bias, and precedent. The steady state equilibrium of the model determines both the length of delay and the distribution of legal rules. Comparative statics show that an increase in the supply of trials reduces delay but may or may not increase the proportion of efficient rules. An increase in the fraction of judges biased in favor of the efficient rule, however, will likely improve efficiency on both counts.

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Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2008-16.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: May 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2008-16
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  1. Gennaioli, Nicola & Shleifer, Andrei, 2007. "The Evolution of Common Law," Scholarly Articles 3451305, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Gravelle, H. S. E., 1990. "Rationing trials by waiting: Welfare implications," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 255-270, December.
  3. Miceli, Thomas J. & Cosgel, Metin M., 1994. "Reputation and judicial decision-making," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 31-51, January.
  4. Thomas J. Miceli, 2009. "Legal Change: Selective Litigation, Judicial Bias, and Precedent," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(1), pages 157-168, 01.
  5. Lucian Arye Bebchuk, 1984. "Litigation and Settlement under Imperfect Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(3), pages 404-415, Autumn.
  6. 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.
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