Justice: Greater Access, Lower Costs

37 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2014

See all articles by Margherita Saraceno

Margherita Saraceno

University of Pavia - Department of Law

Date Written: January 23, 2014


Litigation imposes large costs on society; this justifies settlement considerations. In any case, access to justice is critical to socioeconomic development; as such, it needs to be balanced with litigation minimization. This study examines the tradeoff between litigation and access to justice and explicitly elucidates their relationship. In considering access issues, this study finds that the outcomes of policies that affect parties’ litigation decisions partially depart from those in the standard literature. For instance, increasing parties’ litigation costs does not necessarily promote settlement in the shadow of the court. Rather, effects depend on the elasticity of the demand for legal remedies. Furthermore, even while pushing litigation, enhancing access to justice is efficient as long as the claimant’s marginal propensity to litigate is smaller than the social opportunity-cost of access to justice. This finding offers further insight into the suitability of litigation subsidization through legal aid.

Keywords: access to justice, litigation, settlement, elasticity

JEL Classification: K41

Suggested Citation

Saraceno, Margherita, Justice: Greater Access, Lower Costs (January 23, 2014). Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2014-06; Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2014-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2383864 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2383864

Margherita Saraceno (Contact Author)

University of Pavia - Department of Law ( email )

Pavia, I-27100

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