Abstract

This paper embeds a model of lawmaking in an equilibrium framework in which the demand for trials is rationed by court delay. The lawmaking process depends on a combination of selective litigation, judicial bias, and precedent. The steady state equilibrium of the model determines both the length of delay and the distribution of legal rules. Comparative statics show that an increase in the supply of trials reduces delay but may or may not increase the proportion of efficient rules. An increase in the fraction of judges biased in favor of the efficient rule, however, will likely improve efficiency on both counts.

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