THE BEHAVIOR OF FEDERAL JUDGES: A THEORETICAL AND EMPIRICAL STUDY OF RATIONAL CHOICE
Under Contract with Harvard University Press
William M. Landes
Richard A. Posner
Judges play a central role in the American legal systemmore so than in any other legal system. But the behavior of judges, and in particular the determinants of their decisions, are not well understood by lawyers, including law professors; in part this is because judges in our system are permitted to be (and are) quite secretive. Beginning more than half a century ago but accelerating in recent decades, social scientistspolitical scientists in particular, but also economists and psychologists, and some academic lawyers trained or interested in social sciencehave used increasingly sophisticated theoretical concepts and quantitative tools to place the study of judicial behavior on a genuinely scientific basis. Yet no single book provides a comprehensive, up-to-date overview of the new learning about judicial behavior, and it is that gap that we hope to fill with a combination of survey and original research.