LEARNING LIABILITY RULES
Donald Wittman, Daniel Friedman, Stephanie Crevier and Aaron Braskin
Journal of Legal Studies
A good economic institution will have an efficient equilibrium and, equally important, will promote rapid convergence to that equilibrium. In this paper we introduce a general approach--landscape learning--for comparing convergence properties across institutions.
We consider three different liability rules: negligence with contributory
negligence, comparative negligence and no-fault. We demonstrate theoretically
and then corroborate experimentally that comparative negligence promotes
the fastest rate of convergence. Along the way we also test various hypotheses
regarding learning and other adjustment dynamics. Thus our paper extends
the notion of institutional choice from a mere static one -- liability
rules with efficient equilibria are chosen ó to a more dynamic perspective
--rules that rapidly achieve efficient equilibria are chosen.
VOTERS VOTE FOR INCUMBENTS BUT AGAINST INCUMBENCY:
A RATIONAL CHOICE EXPLANATION
Journal of Public Economics, (1995) 67-83
University of California
Santa Cruz, CA
In recent elections, voters supported initiatives to limit
the number of terms that their representatives may serve, yet at the same
time, overwhelmingly re-elected their incumbents. We provide a theoretical
explanation for this and other puzzles associated with voting on term limitations.
The pattern of voting on term limits can be explained by the desire to
redistribute power from one party to another, from one branch of government
to another, and from districts with long-term incumbents to districts whose
representatives have served only for a short time span. We test these hypotheses
by looking at voting patterns on California Proposition 140 and the vote
on the 22nd Amendment with generally positive results.
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