'Legal Origins and Empirical Credibility' - with Jonathan Klick (University of Pennsylvania)
"Despite its tremendous influence in both academic and policy circles, the empirical estimates from the legal origins literature are simply not credible. The cross sectional research designs used surely suffer from omitted variables biases. As an illustration of this, we showed how La Porta et al.’s (2008) results, which supposedly showed robustness, are extremely fragile. This is a symptom of a poorly identified relationship. While the legal origins literature raises important, perhaps among the most important, questions, these questions are not amenable to serious empirical examination."
Eric Helland is a Senior Economist at RAND's Institute for Civil Justice, the Robert J. Lowe ’62 Endowed Professor of Economics and George R. Roberts Fellow of Economics at Claremont McKenna College. He is also a member of the plenary faculty of public policy at the Claremont Graduate School and the Pardee RAND Graduate School.
Eric's research focuses on law and economics and regulation. His current research focuses on pharmaceutical and patent litigation, securities litigation, auto safety and medical malpractice. He is the author of more than 40 published articles and is currently working on a study of the impact of pay on judicial retention and a study of the impact of the Class Action Fairness Act. His recent writings include “Medicare Secondary Payer Act Recovery: Impact of Reporting Thresholds,” with Fred Kipperman, “Judicial Expenditures and Litigation Access: Evidence from Auto Injuries,” with Paul Heaton, published in the Journal of Legal Studies, which examines the impact of court funding of access to the courts. His recent work on medical professional liability insurance includes “Bargaining in the Shadow of the Website: Disclosure’s Impact on Litigation Behavior,” with Gia Lee, published in the American Law and Economics Review, which examines the impact of web disclosure on settlement behavior, and “The Impact of Liability on the Physician Labor Market,” with Mark Showalter, published in the Journal of Law and Economics.
From 2007-2009 he was the Research Director for the RAND Institute of Civil Justice. In 2010 he served as Chair of the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance at Claremont McKenna College and was the recipient of the G. David Huntoon Senior Teaching Award. Before joining RAND in 2004 he was a visiting fellow at the Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. In 2003-04 he served as a Senior Economist on the Council of Economic Advisers. In 2008 he was a visiting professor of law at the University of California Los Angeles. In 2010-11 he is a visiting scholar at Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at the University of Southern California. He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Regulatory Economics.