Conference on A Rational Choice Approach to Judging

Friday, October 4, 2013 - 8:30am - Saturday, October 5, 2013 - 2:00pm
Room V
Contact info (email or phone):

In their book The Behavior of Federal Judges, Lee Epstein, William Landes, and Richard Posner challenge the traditional legalist and realist accounts of judging by presenting a labor market theory of judicial behavior. Judges are workers whose behavior is shaped by the conditions and incentives of their employment. Epstein, Landes, and Posner develop predictions from this theory and test them empirically using novel data sets from all three levels of the federal courts – trial, appellate, and the Supreme Court. Their far-reaching examination of judges as labor-market participants includes judges’  aversion to effort, dissent  and reversal; the influence of an individual judge’s ideology and identity as well as that of colleagues; their auditioning for promotion and the norm of conformity.

 The Chicago conference on The Behavior of Federal Judges will mark the publication of this important book, and the emergence of a field of Judicial Behavior, by presenting stand-alone contributions offering a broad array of perspectives on judicial behavior. In addition to Epstein, Landes, and Posner, participants will include Stephen Choi, Joshua Fischman, Mitu Gulati, William Hubbard, Jonathan Kastellec, Alon Klement, Thomas Miles, Jeff Rachlinski, Maya Sen, Joanna Shepherd Bailey, Andrei Shleifer, Emerson Tiller, and Andrew Wistrich. The conference will take place at the University of Chicago Law School on October 4-5, 2013.  It is organized by Omri Ben-Shahar and Thomas Miles and sponsored by the Coase-Sandor Institute for Law and Economics.

This event is free and open to the public, but seating may be limited.


Judicial Behavior Conference7.pdf

Richard A. Posner
William M. Landes
Omri Ben-Shahar
Thomas J. Miles