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Social interactions and the content of legal opinions

Blanes i Vidal, Jordi ORCID: 0009-0002-9237-2049 and Leaver, Clare (2013) Social interactions and the content of legal opinions. Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 29 (1). pp. 78-114. ISSN 8756-6222

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Identification Number: 10.1093/jleo/ews013


We explore whether interactions between judges affect the citation content of legal opinions. Motivated by the economic and sociological literature on networks, we consider two possible mechanisms: knowledge diffusion - a judge is more likely to be aware of, and hence cite, a prior opinion if he has interacted with its author, and socialization - a judge is more likely to cite a prior opinion positively if he has interacted with its author. We find that English appellate judges randomly assigned to work with the author of a given opinion are more (less) likely to make a discretionary citation of that opinion that is positive (neutral) than judges without an interaction, providing support for the socialization mechanism.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 The Authors
Divisions: Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
K Law > K Law (General)
JEL classification: K - Law and Economics > K4 - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior > K40 - General
Z - Other Special Topics > Z1 - Cultural Economics; Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology > Z13 - Social Norms and Social Capital; Social Networks
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2011 12:28
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2024 20:21

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