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Stampede to judgement: persuasive influence and herding behavior by courts

Stampede to judgement: persuasive influence and herding behavior by courts We model appeals courts as Bayesian decision makers with private information about a supreme court's interpretation of the law; each court also observes the previous decisions of other appeals courts in similar cases. Such 'persuasive influence' can cause 'herding' behavior by later appeals courts as decisions progressively rely more on previous decisions and less on a court's private information. We provide an example drawn from a recent United States Supreme Court decision finding unconstitutional a basic provision of a law previously found constitutional by six circuit courts. Herding on the wrong decision may remain uncorrected, since review of harmonious decisions is rare. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Law and Economics Review Oxford University Press

Stampede to judgement: persuasive influence and herding behavior by courts

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Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
Oxford University Press
ISSN
1465-7252
eISSN
1465-7260
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We model appeals courts as Bayesian decision makers with private information about a supreme court's interpretation of the law; each court also observes the previous decisions of other appeals courts in similar cases. Such 'persuasive influence' can cause 'herding' behavior by later appeals courts as decisions progressively rely more on previous decisions and less on a court's private information. We provide an example drawn from a recent United States Supreme Court decision finding unconstitutional a basic provision of a law previously found constitutional by six circuit courts. Herding on the wrong decision may remain uncorrected, since review of harmonious decisions is rare.

Journal

American Law and Economics ReviewOxford University Press

Published: Jan 1, 1999

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