Estimating the Effects of the English Rule on Litigation Outcomes

Published in: The Review of Economics and Statistics, 2016

Posted on on December 08, 2016

by Eric Helland, Jungmo Yoon

Read More

Access further information on this document at The Review of Economics and Statistics

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

The English rule prescribes that the loser of a lawsuit pay the winner's litigation costs. Previous research on the English rule finds that plaintiffs win more often at trial, receive higher awards, and receive larger settlements. Theory predicts that the English rule discourages settlement by raising the threshold payment necessary for settlement. In this paper we reexamine the Florida experiment with the English rule by placing bounds on the selection effects. We find that the mean and median settlement amount increases. Collectively these findings are consistent with the predictions of the simplest models of the English rule's impact.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.