Public Choice and Tort Reform
22 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2004
Date Written: August 12, 2004
It was originally thought that the structure of the common law would not allow rent seeking. More recently, scholars have realized that there is room for rent seeking, and that attorneys are engaged in exactly this process. This rent seeking has led to a great increase in the scope of U.S. tort law, and a corresponding effort to limit the scope of the law. This creates an ideal system for students of public choice. There are organized interest groups on both sides (attorneys, businesses and doctors) which are both coalitions themselves and members of broader coalitions. Each side has numerous tools available for advancing its agenda, such as litigating and lobbying for favorable rules, and attempting to elect preferred representatives and judges. There is ample comparative data available at the state level and also roll call votes at the federal level useful for studying these issues. This is an important and interesting area for future research.
Keywords: Product liability, tort reform, public choice, federalism
JEL Classification: H10, K00, K13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation