Public Choice

, Volume 100, Issue 3, pp 271–288

Legal expenditure as a rent-seeking game

  • Amy Farmer
  • Paul Pecorino

DOI: 10.1023/A:1018368124943

Cite this article as:
Farmer, A. & Pecorino, P. Public Choice (1999) 100: 271. doi:10.1023/A:1018368124943


Legal expenditures at a civil trial constitute an interesting type of rent-seeking contest. In civil litigation there is a natural interaction between the objective merits of the case and the outcome of the contest. Institutions such as fee shifting do not generally have a counterpart in other rent-seeking contests. The endogenous decision to participate in the rent-seeking contest corresponds to the decision by the plaintiff to bring a case, and the decision by the defendant to defend it. The desirability of fee shifting is very sensitive to the value of the parameter which describes the legal technology.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amy Farmer
    • 1
  • Paul Pecorino
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleU.S.A
  2. 2.Department of Economics, Finance and Legal StudiesUniversity of AlabamaTuscaloosaU.S.A