The Litigious Plaintiff Hypothesis: Case Selection and Resolution

Theodore Eisenberg

Cornell University - Law School

Henry S. Farber

Princeton University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

RAND Journal of Economics, Vol. 28, Special Issue (1997).

The process through which cases are selected for litigation cannot be ignored because it yields a set of lawsuits and plaintiffs that is far from a random selection either of potential claims or of potential claimants. We present a theoretical framework for understanding the operation of this suit-selection process and its relationship to the underlying distribution of potential claims and claimants. The model has implications for the trial rate and the plaintiff win rate at trial. Our empirical analysis, using data on over 200,000 federal civil litigations, yields results that are strongly consistent with the theory.

JEL Classification: K41

Accepted Paper Series

Not Available For Download

Date posted: June 11, 1997  

Suggested Citation

Eisenberg, Theodore and Farber, Henry S., The Litigious Plaintiff Hypothesis: Case Selection and Resolution. RAND Journal of Economics, Vol. 28, Special Issue (1997).. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=10471

Contact Information

Theodore Eisenberg (Contact Author)
Cornell University - Law School ( email )
524 College Ave
Myron Taylor Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607-255-6477 (Phone)
607-255-7193 (Fax)
Henry S. Farber
Princeton University ( email )
Industrial Relations Section
Firestone Library
Princeton, NJ 08544
United States
609-258-4044 (Phone)
609-258-2907 (Fax)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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