Analogical Legal Reasoning: Theory and Evidence

American Law and Economics Review, Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 160-191, 2015.

Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 12-131

35 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2012 Last revised: 17 Jul 2015

Joshua C. Teitelbaum

Georgetown University Law Center

Date Written: March 10, 2014

Abstract

The paper offers a formal model of analogical legal reasoning and takes the model to data. Under the model, the outcome of a new case is a weighted average of the outcomes of prior cases. The weights capture precedential influence and depend on fact similarity (distance in fact space) and precedential authority (position in the judicial hierarchy). The empirical analysis suggests that the model is a plausible model for the time series of U.S. maritime salvage cases. Moreover, the results evince that prior cases decided by inferior courts have less influence than prior cases decided by superior courts.

Keywords: analogical legal reasoning, case-based decision theory, empirical similarity, jurisprudence

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K49

Suggested Citation

Teitelbaum, Joshua C., Analogical Legal Reasoning: Theory and Evidence (March 10, 2014). American Law and Economics Review, Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 160-191, 2015.; Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 12-131. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2145478 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2145478

Joshua C. Teitelbaum (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
202-661-6589 (Phone)

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