The role of politics and economics in explaining variation in litigation rates in the U.S. States

Tonja Jacobi*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    This article develops and empirically tests two theories of the causes of variation in levels of litigation in the United States: that litigation rates are affected by political structure and by economic strength. Fragmented political power results in less detailed legislation and a more powerful judiciary, which increases the demand for judicial action. Economic strength is positively associated with high rates of litigation, rather than being stymied by it. This article tests these claims using state-level civil filings data over 25 years and finds both political and economic factors to be highly determinative of litigation rates.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)205-233
    Number of pages29
    JournalJournal of Legal Studies
    Volume38
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Law

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