Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1697622
 
 

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A Theory of Rational Jurisprudence


Scott Baker


Washington University in Saint Louis - School of Law

Claudio Mezzetti


University of Warwick - Faculty of Social Studies

October 15, 2010

Washington University in St. Louis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-10-07

Abstract:     
We develop a dynamic model of judge-made law, assuming judicial resources are scarce and the proper legal rule is unknown, but can be learned. Judges mechanically apply precedent in some cases to save resources. Other cases are fully investigated to reduce the chance of error. With positive probability, a rational court fails to treat like cases alike. The law converges to a mixture of efficient and inefficient rules, with the degree of inefficiency correlated with the ratio of decision to error costs. The size of each jurisprudential step depends on costs and the amount of uncertainty about the law.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 33

Keywords: Law and Economics, Incompleteness of Law, Judge-Made Law

JEL Classification: K10, K40

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Date posted: October 26, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Baker, Scott and Mezzetti, Claudio, A Theory of Rational Jurisprudence (October 15, 2010). Washington University in St. Louis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-10-07. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1697622 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1697622

Contact Information

Scott A. Baker (Contact Author)
Washington University in Saint Louis - School of Law ( email )
Campus Box 1120
St. Louis, MO 63130
United States
Claudio Mezzetti
University of Warwick - Faculty of Social Studies ( email )
United Kingdom
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