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What judges maximize: Toward an economic psychology of the judicial utility function

Foxall, Gordon Robert ORCID: 2004. What judges maximize: Toward an economic psychology of the judicial utility function. Liverpool Law Review 25 (3) , pp. 177-194. 10.1007/s10991-004-2877-9

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Posner proposes that federal appellate judges' income from judicial work and moonlighting is maximized within the constraint of time spent on leisure: he argues that judges' voting behavior be conceptualized as consumption, and that judges avoid the hard work and hassle involved in writing opinions. I propose that the terms entering the judicial utility function be simplified to judicial and non-judicial income, and consumption, some of which is enjoyed during leisure time but a proportion of which is enjoyed in working time (voting, reputation, avoidance of criticism, etc.) Moreover, the extent to which a judge experiences judicial work as laborious and hassling depends upon his cognitive style: adaptors and innovators are expected to conceptualize and experience the detailed work of opinion writing in different ways and thus to have distinct preferences for competing sources of utility.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
K Law > K Law (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cognitive style; consumption; economics of law; judicial behavior; judicial publishing; organizational behavior; utility functions
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 0144-932X
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2022 09:58

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