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"Gordon Tullock's critique of the common law"

Todd Zywicki (George Mason and Volokh Conspiracy) has an SSRN paper on the work of the great law-and-economics and public choice theorist. Partial abstract:

[Gordon] Tullock critiques two specific aspects of the common law system: the adversary system of dispute resolution and the common law process of rulemaking, contrasting them with the inquisitorial system and the civil law systems respectively. Tullock's general critique is straightforward: litigation under the common law system is plagued by the same rent-seeking and rent-dissipation dynamics that Tullock famously ascribed to the process of legislative rent-seeking. This article reviews Tullock's theoretical critique and empirical studies on both issues. The article concludes that Tullock's critique of the adversary system appears to be stronger on both theoretical and empirical grounds than his critique of the common law system of rulemaking.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.