The Selection of Litigation against Government Agencies: Evidence from China

Review of Law and Economics, Vol. 13, Issue 3

36 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2017 Last revised: 17 May 2018

See all articles by Wei Cui

Wei Cui

University of British Columbia (UBC), Faculty of Law

Zhiyuan (Sebastian) Wang

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Date Written: June 21, 2017

Abstract

We test the relevance of the selection theory of litigation in a contemporary, civil law setting, using Chinese judicial data that span 25 years regarding lawsuits against government agencies. Civil law systems may be characterized by lower costs of litigation and lower rates of settlement than the U.S. legal system, and therefore the presence of selection effects cannot be assumed. We show that selection effects are indeed manifest in Chinese administrative litigation, and suggest that this may be explained by hidden or intangible litigation costs. Our test for selection effects builds on the approach of previous U.S. studies and potentially allows the identification of selection effects to help improve inferences from decided cases. Finally, we examine patterns of settlement and plaintiff wins in pre-litigation administrative appeals in China, and do not find sufficient evidence for selection effects in this process. This could potentially be explained if most appellants pursuing administrative appeals do not intend to litigate.

Keywords: Selection Theory, Priest and Klein, Administrative Litigation, Civil Law v. Common Law, Chinese Law, Authoritarian Legal Systems

JEL Classification: K41, P37, P48

Suggested Citation

Cui, Wei and Wang, Zhiyuan, The Selection of Litigation against Government Agencies: Evidence from China (June 21, 2017). Review of Law and Economics, Vol. 13, Issue 3. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2990482

Wei Cui (Contact Author)

University of British Columbia (UBC), Faculty of Law ( email )

1822 East Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T1Z1
Canada
6048274765 (Phone)

Zhiyuan Wang

Texas A&M University-Commerce ( email )

Department of Political Science
P.O. Box 3011
Commerce, TX 75429
United States

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