Empirical Analysis

Valuing Intellectual Property: An Experiment

Christopher Buccafusco & Christopher Jon Sprigman

In recent decades, research in behavioral psychology and experimental economics has undermined some of the fundamental principles of the “rational choice” model of neoclassical economics—in particular, the assumption that decision-makers have stable preferences.  A large volume of data shows that people’s preferences are subject to a variety of cognitive biases… Read More »

Bundling Public and Private Goods: The Market for Sustainable Organics

Margot J. Pollans

The Need for Sustainable Agriculture
Advocates of alternative agriculture argue that conventional modes of agricultural production are problematic because they ignore natural limits. The goal of sustainable agriculture, a form of alternative agriculture, is to farm in accordance with the structure of local ecosystems. This “nature as standard”… Read More »

Sanctions For E-Discovery Violations: By The Numbers

Dan H. Willoughby & Rose Hunter Jones & Gregory R. Antine

E-discovery sanctions are at an all-time high.  We identified 230 sanction awards in 401 cases involving motions for sanctions relating to the discovery of electronically stored information (ESI) in federal courts prior to January 1, 2010.  We analyzed these cases for a variety of factors, including sanctioning court, sanctioning authority,… Read More »

The Repeat Appointment Factor: Exploring Decision Patterns of Elite Investment Arbitrators

Daphna Kapeliuk - Radzyner School of Law

Scholarship on arbitral behavior and decision making has theorized that, as utility maximizers who wish to increase their chances of reappointment in future disputes, arbitrators will tend to satisfy both parties by rendering compromise awards.  Although empirical studies on arbitral behavior have focused on the arbitrators’ tendency to… Read More »

Essay on Funding Irrationality

Adam S. Zimmerman - New York University School of Law

My article Funding Irrationality addresses a relatively unexamined issue in the literature of class action settlements and public settlement funds: should the people who oversee a large settlement fund account for claimants’ irrational settlement decisions?
Much of the literature related to large settlements seeks to improve how judges and private… Read More »

Did Liberal Justices Invent the Standing Doctrine? An Empirical Study of the Evolution of Standing, 1921-2006

Daniel E. Ho & Erica Ross

I. The Insulation Thesis
The standing doctrine is the Rorschach test of federal courts. In theory, the doctrine serves a distinct function, namely ensuring that a litigant is the proper party to bring a claim in court. Yet standing remains one of the most contested areas of federal law, with… Read More »

Constructing Commons in the Cultural Environment

Michael J. Madison & Katherine J. Strandburg & Brett Frischmann

The Maine lobster fishery is a successful example of a managed natural resource commons.  To ensure an ongoing supply of lobsters in the face of threats to the fishery from unregulated over-fishing, over a period of years Maine lobster fishermen crafted a set of formal and informal rules to determine… Read More »

Devising Rule of Law Baselines: The Next Step in Quantitative Studies of Judging

Brian Z. Tamanaha - Washington University School of Law

Political scientists and law professors have lately taken to asserting that quantitative studies of judging reveal worrisome findings about the rule of law in the U.S. judicial system. The authors of Are Judges Political? declare: “variations in panel composition lead to dramatically different outcomes, in a way that creates serious… Read More »

Justice and Judgment Among the Whomever: An Anthropological Approach to Judging

John Conley - University of North Carolina Law School

Prior to the conference, the organizers asked me for my thoughts on how an anthropologist might approach the problem of studying judging.  Those thoughts follow.  I have subsequently reflected on the discussion at the conference itself, and I conclude this essay with those reflections.
When I think of “judging” as… Read More »

Quantitative Legal History—Empirics and the Rule of Law in the Antebellum Judiciary

Alfred L. Brophy - University of North Carolina Law School

Introduction: The Conflict over the Rule of Law
This symposium asks how we can quantify and evaluate what judges do.  Some of the papers are skeptical of attempts at quantification. These questions are of importance to legal historians, who frequently seek to link judicial behavior to larger cultural, economic, and… Read More »

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