New Economics Papers
on Law and Economics
Issue of 2010‒03‒20
two papers chosen by
Jeong-Joon Lee, Towson University

  1. Too many lawyers? Litigation in Italian civil courts By Amanda Carmignani; Silvia Giacomelli
  2. Responses to More Severe Punishment in the Courtroom: Evidence from Truth-in-Sentencing Laws By Fusako Tsuchimoto; Libor Dusek

  1. By: Amanda Carmignani (Bank of Italy); Silvia Giacomelli (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate the relationship between the number of lawyers and civil litigation across Italian provinces over the period 2000-2005. First, we document the existence of a positive correlation between the number of lawyers and litigation. We then employ a 2SLS approach to verify the existence of a causal effect. We use as an exogenous source of variation for the number of lawyers the differences among provinces in the proximity of a law school in 1975. Our results show that the number of lawyers has a positive effect on litigation and that the magnitude of this effect is large.
    Keywords: civil justice, litigation, market for lawyers
    JEL: K41 J44 L84
    Date: 2010–02
  2. By: Fusako Tsuchimoto; Libor Dusek
    Abstract: We investigate behavioral responses of judges and prosecutors to more severe punishments by analyzing the effects of Truth-in-Sentencing (TIS) laws in a large sample of individual criminal cases. The TIS laws raised effective punishment by requiring offenders to serve at least 85% of their imposed sentence in prison. Differences between the U.S. states in the timing of adoption and the types of crimes covered provide a source of identification. The key findings are: (1) The TIS laws reduced the probability that an arrested offender is eventually convicted by 25% through an increase in the probability that the case is dismissed, a reduction in the probability that the defendant pleads guilty, and a reduction in the probability that the defendant is convicted at trial. (2) The TIS laws the reduced the imposed sentence that a defendant may expect upon arrest by 14%. The behavioral responses are empirically important to partially mitigate the intended deterrent effect of the TIS laws.
    Keywords: Criminal procedure, criminal law, sentencing, Truth-in-Sentencing laws.
    JEL: K00 K41 K14
    Date: 2009–12

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