Litigation and legal evolution: Does procedure matter?

Barbara Luppi, Francesco Parisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Gordon Tullock's critique of the common law runs against much of the conventional wisdom in the law and economics literature. In this paper we revisit one of the most controversial aspects of Tullock's critique. By applying Tullock's own model of rent-seeking to litigation, we study the effect of alternative procedural rules on civil litigation. Our results provide support for Tullock's controversial critique of the common law, revealing an evolutionary bias in the production of legal rules by courts. We extend the standard litigation model to study the effects of alternative procedural systems on the evolution of the common law.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-201
Number of pages21
JournalPublic Choice
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012


  • American rule
  • Efficiency of the common law hypothesis
  • English rule
  • Gordon Tullock
  • Rent-seeking

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