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Lee Epstein
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Lee Epsteing Ethan A.H. Shepley Distinguished University Professor
THE BEHAVIOR OF FEDERAL JUDGES

THE BEHAVIOR OF FEDERAL JUDGES: A THEORETICAL AND EMPIRICAL STUDY OF RATIONAL CHOICE
Under Contract with Harvard University Press

Lee Epstein
William M. Landes
Richard A. Posner

Judges play a central role in the American legal system—more 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 scientists—political scientists in particular, but also economists and psychologists, and some academic lawyers trained or interested in social science—have 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.