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Axiomatic Analysis of Legal/Institutional Issues


Spitzer, Matthew Laurence (1979) Axiomatic Analysis of Legal/Institutional Issues. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/26tg-h480.


Abstract of Introductory Essay
An essay defines and explores the strengths and limits of the Axiomatic Analysis of Legal/Institutional Issues, and then derives guidelines for the use of axiomatic work in papers prescribing policies.

Abstract of Chapter I
Given certain fundamental assumptions, it is possible to engage in economic analysis of costly interactions between the government and individuals. Such an analysis must necessarily focus upon a potential rule's effect on governmental behavior. Various models of governmental behavior are either borrowed or developed, and these models are then independently analyzed, Economic efficiency suggests that a particular immunity rule should be adopted with regard to certain models. In the case of other models, however, rigorous economic analysis is impossible; in such cases, suability is chosen over immunity on the basis of fairness and comparative utility. Based upon this analysis, three potential governmental immunity rules are formulated, and, based largely on considerations of administrative costs and fairness, the indicated rule is that the government should be suable in tort for monetary damages.

Abstract of Chapter II
The limitations of Multicriteria Choice Processes are analyzed by examining the Federal Communications Commission's initial broadcast license comparative hearings. A possibility theorem, developed especially for comparative hearings, shows that the FCC must use an illegal process. This fundamental problem helps to explain previous criticisms of the comparative hearings' practical defects and to separate sufficiently effective reform suggestions from ineffective proposals.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Social Science
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Humanities and Social Sciences
Major Option:Social Science
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Noll, Roger G.
Thesis Committee:
  • Noll, Roger G. (chair)
  • Levine, Michael
  • Plott, Charles R.
  • Quirk, James P.
  • Ferejohn, John A.
Defense Date:23 September 1978
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:06292020-144123758
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:13833
Deposited By: Kathy Johnson
Deposited On:29 Jun 2020 21:50
Last Modified:02 Dec 2020 01:09

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