Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1114941
 
 

References (29)



 
 

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The Evolution of a Legal Rule


Anthony Niblett


University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Richard A. Posner


University of Chicago Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Andrei Shleifer


Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

February 22, 2008

3rd Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Papers

Abstract:     
The efficiency of common law rules is central to achieving efficient resource allocation in a market economy. While many theories suggest reasons why judge-made law should tend toward efficient rules, the question whether the common law actually does converge in commercial areas has remained empirically untested. We create a dataset of 465 state-court appellate decisions involving the application of the Economic Loss Rule in construction disputes and track the evolution of law in this area from 1970 to 2005. We find that over this period the law did not converge to any stable resting point and evolved differently in different states. We find that legal evolution is influenced by plaintiffs' claims, the relative economic power of the parties, and nonbinding federal precedent.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 42

Keywords: Evolution, Legal Rule, Convergence, Tort, Contract

JEL Classification: K13, K41

working papers series


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Date posted: April 2, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Niblett, Anthony and Posner, Richard A. and Shleifer, Andrei, The Evolution of a Legal Rule (February 22, 2008). 3rd Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Papers. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1114941 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1114941

Contact Information

Anthony Niblett (Contact Author)
University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )
78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
Richard A. Posner
University of Chicago Law School ( email )
1111 E. 60th St.
LBQ 611
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-9608 (Phone)
773-702-0730 (Fax)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Andrei Shleifer
Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )
Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-5046 (Phone)
617-496-1708 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/~ashleife/
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium
HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org
Feedback to SSRN


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