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Public Choice and Tort Reform

Emory University economist Paul Rubin has recently completed an article by this title that will likely interest many Point of Law readers. Here's the abstract:

It was originally thought that the structure of the common law would not allow rent seeking. More recently, scholars have realized that there is room for rent seeking, and that attorneys are engaged in exactly this process. This rent seeking has led to a great increase in the scope of U.S. tort law, and a corresponding effort to limit the scope of the law. This creates an ideal system for students of public choice. There are organized interest groups on both sides (attorneys, businesses and doctors) which are both coalitions themselves and members of broader coalitions. Each side has numerous tools available for advancing its agenda, such as litigating and lobbying for favorable rules, and attempting to elect preferred representatives and judges. There is ample comparative data available at the state level and also roll call votes at the federal level useful for studying these issues. This is an important and interesting area for future research.

The article can be downloaded via the Social Science Research Network's website.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.