The John M. Olin Center

Paper Abstract

681. J. Mark Ramseyer and Eric B. Rasmusen, Comparative Litigation Rates, 11/10.

Abstract: We know the stereotype: People around the world see American citizens as eager to sue and American judges as powerful shapers of the social order. Yet we find it hard to measure the magnitude of that eagerness and power. In this article we examine some of the problems involved in quantitatively measuring how the courts’ role in America compares to other nations. We suggest that the notoriety of the U.S. does not result from the way citizens and judges handle routine disputes, which (different as it may be in developing countries) is not very different from in other wealthy, democratic societies,. Instead, American notoriety results from the peculiarly dysfunctional way judges handle disputes in discrete legal areas such as class actions and punitive damages


681: PDF