The “Demand for Justice” in Italy: Civil Litigation and the Judicial System


This study provides an interpretative scheme of the so-called “demand for justice” in Italy. Using a microeconomic model of the choice of litigants, the characteristics of the judicial, legal, and economic systems have been modeled as they influence the decisions of the two parties and may cause opportunistic behavior, which, in their turn, may have an impact on the shape of the two systems. An empirically testable model has been derived from this theoretical framework. The empirical analysis shows that lengthy time-spans and raised costs of associated processes and high market rates have a disincentive effect on recourse to justice, which seems to prevail over that connected to opportunistic behavior of the plaintiff. We do not find evidence for the socalled pathological demand hypothesis, which has been emphasized in recent literature.

Key words: Demand for justice, incentives, judicial system.


Interest Rate Unit Root Opportunistic Behavior Market Rate Judicial System 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and Economic Analysis of InstitutionsUniversità Roma TreItaly
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversità of Rome IIItaly
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsUniversità of Milan – BicoccaItaly

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