The Impact of the Number of Courts on the Demand for Trials
CRESE Working paper No. 2013-01
24 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2013
Date Written: January 17, 2013
The recent reforms of the "judicial map" in Europe have drastically reduced the number of courts, raising fears of a decline in access to justice. This paper addresses this issue through a litigation model within a Salop (1979) model. We assume that victims of accidents differ both in terms of compensatory damages expected and in terms of distance from court. Due to distance costs, it might be too expensive to file cases for some victims with low expected awards. Therefore, the demand for trials is reduced by a decrease in the number of courts when the probability of an accident is exogenous. However, the link between the number of courts and the demand for trials is not clear cut when the probability of an accident occurring is determined by the defendant through his level of care. Furthermore, we determine the optimal number of courts.
Keywords: litigation, number of courts, distance costs, access to justice
JEL Classification: K41, H40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation