The role of lawyer-legislators in shaping the law: evidence from voting behavior on tort reforms

Matter, Ulrich and Stutzer, Alois. (2015) The role of lawyer-legislators in shaping the law: evidence from voting behavior on tort reforms. Journal of Law and Economics, 58 (2). pp. 357-384.

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Attorneys elected to the US Congress and to state legislatures are systematically less likely to vote in favor of tort reforms that restrict tort litigation but more likely to support bills that extend tort law than are legislators with different professional backgrounds. This finding is based on the analysis of 64 roll call votes at the federal and state levels between 1995 and 2014. It holds when controlling for legislators’ ideology and is particularly strong for term-limited lawyer-legislators. The empirical regularity is consistent with the hypothesis that lawyer-legislators, at least in part, pursue their private interests when voting on tort issues. Our results highlight the relevance of legislators’ identities and individual professional interests for economic policy making.
Faculties and Departments:06 Faculty of Business and Economics > Departement Wirtschaftswissenschaften > Professuren Wirtschaftswissenschaften > Politische Ökonomie (Stutzer)
UniBasel Contributors:Matter, Ulrich and Stutzer, Alois
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:University of Chicago Press
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article -- © 2015 by The University of Chicago.
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Last Modified:30 Jun 2016 10:59
Deposited On:09 Feb 2016 16:23

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