A theory of rational jurisprudence

Baker, Scott and Mezzetti, Claudio (2012) A theory of rational jurisprudence. Journal of Political Economy, 120 3: 513-551. doi:10.1086/666655

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Author Baker, Scott
Mezzetti, Claudio
Title A theory of rational jurisprudence
Journal name Journal of Political Economy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-3808
Publication date 2012-06-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1086/666655
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 120
Issue 3
Start page 513
End page 551
Total pages 39
Place of publication Chicago, IL United States
Publisher University of Chicago Press
Language eng
Abstract We examine a dynamic model of up-or-down problem solving. A decision maker can either spend resources investigating a new problem before deciding what to do or decide on the basis of similarity with precedent problems. Over time, a decision-making framework, or jurisprudence, develops. We focus on the model’s application to judge-made law. We show that judges summarily apply precedent in some cases. The law may converge to efficient or inefficient rules. With positive probability, identical cases are treated differently. As the court learns over time, inconsistencies become less likely. We discuss the existing empirical evidence and the model’s testable implications.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Economics Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 19 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 18 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 02 Jun 2016, 21:10:06 EST by Karen Warren on behalf of School of Economics