On the Economics of Trials: Adversarial Process, Evidence and Equilibrium Bias

56 Pages Posted: 24 May 1998

See all articles by Andrew F. Daughety

Andrew F. Daughety

Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University; Vanderbilt University - Law School

Jennifer F. Reinganum

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics; Vanderbilt University - Law School

Date Written: December 1999

Abstract

The adversarial provision of evidence is modeled as a game in which two parties engage in strategic sequential search. An axiomatic approach is used to characterize a court's decision based on the evidence provided. Although this process treats the evidence submissions in an unbiased way, the equilibrium outcome may still exhibit bias. Bias arises from differences in the cost of sampling or asymmetry in the sampling distribution. In a multi-stage model, a pro-defendant bias arises in the first stage from a divergence between the parties' stakes. Finally, the adversarial process generates additional costs which screen out some otherwise meritorious cases.

Note: Previously Vanderbilt University, Economics Working Paper No. 98-W02

JEL Classification: K41, C72, D83

Suggested Citation

Daughety, Andrew F. and Reinganum, Jennifer F., On the Economics of Trials: Adversarial Process, Evidence and Equilibrium Bias (December 1999). Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Vol. 16(2), October 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=91609 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.91609

Andrew F. Daughety (Contact Author)

Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University ( email )

PMB 351819
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Nashville, TN 37235-1819
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615-343-8495 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://my.vanderbilt.edu/andrewdaughety/

Vanderbilt University - Law School

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
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Jennifer F. Reinganum

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 1819 Station B
Nashville, TN 37235
United States
615-322-2937 (Phone)
615-343-8495 (Fax)

Vanderbilt University - Law School

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States

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