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A Theory of Rational Jurisprudence

Scott Baker and Claudio Mezzetti
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Claudio Mezzetti

No 1144, Department of Economics - Working Papers Series from The University of Melbourne

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 based on 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 di¤erently. As the court learns over time, inconsistencies become less likely. We discuss the existing empirical evidence and the model?s testable implications.

Keywords: Law and Economics; Incompleteness of Law; Judge-Made Law; Evolution (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K10 K40 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 40 pages
Date: 2012
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-law and nep-upt
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (29)

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