Séminaire GREDEG - Alain Marciano (Université de Montpellier)

"Justice without Romance. The History of the Economic Analyses of Judges Behavior"
Quand ? Le 26-01-2017,
de 14:00 à 15:30
Où ? GREDEG - Salle Picasso
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Séminaire GREDEG - Alain Marciano (LAMETA et Université de Montpellier)

Titre : "Justice without Romance. The History of the Economic Analyses of Judges Behavior" coécrit avec Alessandro Melcarne (Université de Paris 10) et Giovanni B. Ramello (Université du Piémont Oriental, Italie)

Abstract: Richard Posner's “What Do Judges and Justices Maximize?” (1993) is usually viewed as the first analysis of judges’ behaviors made by using the assumption that judges behave as rational utility maximizers. In this paper we show that Posner's article is not the beginning of a new stream of analysys  but represents the end of a maturation process that started in the 1970s. We propose a history of the economic analyses of judicial decision showing how Posner actually introduced incentives to link the behavior of judges and the efficiency of Common Law in the early 1970s and that this then gave birth to the first articles on judicial behavior. Then, the controversy led Posner, and for that matter other economists, to postpone his analysis until the evolutionary approach had given a justification of efficient legal change independent of judicial conduct. But, in the 1990s, the situation had changed. New and conclusive evidence of judges’ utility maximizing behavior demanded for a general theory to be expressed. The context was even more favorable to the economists of Chicago and to the imperialism of economics, thus supplying Posner the opportunity to publish his article.


Keywords: Judges, Judicial decision making, Rationality, Self-interest, Efficiency, Common Law, Posner


JEL codes: K40, B 29, B31