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date: 06 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In the analysis of judicial behavior, “economics” has multiple meanings. Some studies emphasize the economic consequences of judicial decisions while others employ the concepts and tools of economic analysis to explain those decisions. Here we focus on studies proceeding from the assumption of rationality (regardless of their methodological approach). Even with this limited focus, the range of substantive topics is impressive. There are many ways to splice and dice them but six stand out: (1) the judge: motivations, careers and performance; (2) selection and retention of judges; (3) opinions and precedent; (4) collegial courts; (5) the hierarchy of justice; and (6) external actors. For each we synthesize the literature and offer directions for future work.

Keywords: judicial behavior, rational choice, strategic analysis, preferences of judges, opinions, collegial courts, hierarchy of justice

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