European Journal of Law and Economics

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 555–558 | Cite as

Lee Epstein, William M. Landes, Richard A. Posner: The behavior of federal judges: a theoretical and empirical study of rational choice

Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 2013
  • Diana Richards
Book Review
  • K14—Criminal Law

  • K4—Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior

The Behavior of Federal Judges represents a mature and solid attempt to build a labour-market model of judicial behaviour and to provide new supporting empirical evidence for this model. Epstein and Landes have a longstanding reputation of being top empirical researchers on judicial behaviour, while Judge Posner has been the forceful supporter of using economic theory in explaining judicial behaviour for over two decades (Posner 1993). The book sets the framework of the empirical findings by explaining the main tenets of the labour-market theory and how they give rise to a whole range of pecuniary and non-pecuniary benefits that a theory of judicial behaviour ought to account for (Chapter 1). At the same time, it explains how this model is different, and more sophisticated, than existing models in the literature, and how this model succeeds in highlighting the limits and inaccuracies of both realism and...


  1. Epstein, L., Landes, W. M., & Posner, R. A. (2013). The behavior of federal judges. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Posner, R. A. (1993). What do judges and justices maximize? (The same thing everybody else does). Supreme Court Economic Review, 3, 1–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University College London, Faculty of LawsLondonUK

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