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No judge, no job!: Judicial discretion and incomplete labor contracts

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  • Christmann, Robin

Abstract

The decision making of judges is prone to error and misapprehension. Consequently, the prevailing literature ties the economic function of courts to dispute resolution and minimization of rule making costs. In contrast to previous research, this analysis applies a contract theoretic perspective to the ruling of courts and keeps the focus on the implemented market transactions. Using labor contracts as institutional setting, performance and limitations of judicial law making are formally investigated and compared to the effects of specific legislation. It is shown that the efficient relation of legislative law making and judicial discretion is defined by the characteristics of the particular field of law and the actual market structure. The model also suggests a mutual dependency between legislation and adjudication to establish efficiency in law, contradicting the traditional legal doctrines of exclusive legislation or sole case-law.

Suggested Citation

  • Christmann, Robin, 2010. "No judge, no job!: Judicial discretion and incomplete labor contracts," HWWI Research Papers 2-23, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:hwwirp:2-23
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    Keywords

    incomplete contracts; judicial law making; legislation;

    JEL classification:

    • K12 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Contract Law
    • K31 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Labor Law
    • K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process

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