Richard H. McAdams

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Economic theories of legal compliance emphasize legal sanctions, whereas psychological and sociological theories stress the perceived legitimacy of law. Without disputing the importance of either mechanism, we test a third way that law affects behavior, an expressive theory that claims law influences behavior by creating a focal point around which(More)
A publisher uses an honor system for selling a newspaper in the street. The customers are supposed to pay, but they can also pay less than the price or not pay at all. We conduct an experiment to study honesty in this market. The results show that appealing to honesty increases payments, whereas reminding the customers of the legal norm has no effect.(More)
This Article continues our project of applying new findings in the behavioral psychology of human happiness to some of the most deeply analyzed questions in law. When a state decides how to punish criminal offenders, at least one important consideration is the amount of harm any given punishment is likely to inflict. It would be undesirable , for example,(More)
In The Problem of Social Cost, Ronald Coase firmly installed transaction costs at the center of the economic analysis of law. 1 The potential for these costs to inconveniently interpose themselves between the world as we know it and an ideal of perfect efficiency has provided generations of law and economics scholars with an analytic north star. But the(More)
Regulatory agencies take account of the potential unemployment effects of proposed regulations in an ad hoc, theoretically incorrect way. Current practice is to conduct job-loss or feasibility analysis, under which the agency predicts the unemployment effects of a proposed regulation, and then declines to regulate (or weakens the proposed regulation) if the(More)
OBJECTIVE This paper tests the extent to which differing trends in income, demographic change and the consequences of an earlier period of social, economic and political change might explain differences in the magnitude and trends in alcohol-related mortality between 1991 and 2011 in Scotland compared to England & Wales (E&W). STUDY DESIGN Comparative(More)
We present a new measure of judicial ideology based on judicial hiring behavior. Specifically, we utilize the ideology of the law clerks hired by federal judges to estimate the ideology of the judges themselves. These Clerk-Based Ideology (CBI) scores complement existing measures of judicial ideology in several ways. First, CBI scores can be estimated for(More)
In situations where people have an incentive to coordinate their behavior, law can provide a framework for understanding and predicting what others are likely to do. According to the focal point theory of legal compliance, the law’s articulation of a behavior can sometimes create self-fulfilling expectations that it will occur. Existing theories of legal(More)
This Article uses comparative evidence to inform the ongoing debate about the selection and discipline of judges. In recent decades, many countries around the world have created judicial councils, institutions designed to maintain an appropriate balance between judicial independence and accountability. Our Article has two aims. First, we provide a theory of(More)