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http://ssrn.com/abstract=260335
 
 

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Legal Precedent: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis


William M. Landes


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

Richard A. Posner


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

August 1976

NBER Working Paper No. w0146

Abstract:     
The use of precedents to create rules of legal obligation has, to our knowledge, received little theoretical or empirical analysis. This paper presents and tests empirically an economic approach to legal precedent that is derived mainly from the analysis of capital formation and investment. We treat the body of legal precedents created by judicial decisions in prior periods as a capital stock that yields a flow of information services which depreciates over time as new conditions arise that were not foreseen by the framers of the existing precedents. New (and replacement) capital is created by investment in the production of precedents.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 95

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Date posted: June 18, 2004  

Suggested Citation

Landes, William M. and Posner, Richard A., Legal Precedent: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis (August 1976). NBER Working Paper No. w0146. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=260335

Contact Information

William M. Landes (Contact Author)
University of Chicago Law School ( email )
1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-9606 (Phone)
773-702-0356 (Fax)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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
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