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| Authors||G. Dari-Mattiacci, B. Deffains|
|Title||Uncertainty of law and the legal process|
|Journal||Journal of institutional and theoretical economics|
|Faculty||Faculty of Law|
Faculty of Economics and Business
|Institute/dept.||FdR: Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics (ACLE)|
FEB: Amsterdam Business School Research Institute (ABS-RI)
|Abstract||There is extensive literature on whether courts or legislators produce efficient rules, but which of them produces rules efficiently? The law is subject to uncertainty ex ante; uncertainty makes the outcomes of trials difficult to predict and deters parties from settling disputes out of court. In contrast, the law is certain ex post: litigation fosters the creation of precedents that reduce uncertainty. We postulate that there is a natural balance between the degree of uncertainty of a legal system (kept under control by litigation) and its litigation rate (sustained by uncertainty). We describe such equilibrium rates in a model of tort litigation, study how they are affected by different policies, and compare the costs and benefits of the legislative and the judicial process of lawmaking.|
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