Cover: The Behavior of Federal Judges: A Theoretical and Empirical Study of Rational Choice, from Harvard University PressCover: The Behavior of Federal Judges in HARDCOVER

The Behavior of Federal Judges

A Theoretical and Empirical Study of Rational Choice

Add to Cart

Product Details


$55.50 • £44.95 • €50.00

ISBN 9780674049895

Publication Date: 01/07/2013


440 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

20 graphs, 100 tables


[The Behavior of Federal Judges] provides the most comprehensive and detailed empirical analysis yet of the role played by ideology and political affiliation in judicial decision making… It collects and analyzes a daunting amount of data.—Adam Liptak, The New York Times

The most detailed and elaborate quantitative analysis of the federal judiciary to date… [The authors] show that the role of judicial ideology gets a lot bigger as we move up the judicial hierarchy… Epstein, Landes, and Posner have produced the best and most comprehensive study of judicial behavior by reference to quantitative measures and statistical analysis. Their book will almost certainly define the field for many years to come… Epstein, Landes, and Posner have performed an important service in establishing the truths, and the limits, of both legalism and realism.—Cass R. Sunstein, The New Republic

Epstein, Landes, and Posner have written a brilliant book that ultimately shows the importance of the individual judge or justice to the outcome of cases. The Behavior of Federal Judges shows that who is on the bench matters enormously. It is a work that will shape discussions and research about the federal courts for many years to come.—Erwin Chemerinsky, Judicature

The Behavior of Federal Judges has the potential to radically reorient the entire field of research into judicial behavior, one of the most exciting fields in law, economics, and political science. Epstein, Landes, and Posner go beyond the artificial divisions amongst these fields, and show how their different perspectives can be combined into a powerful model that not only makes enormous sense theoretically, but is backed by a mountain of data across all levels of the federal judiciary. I have little doubt that, in the years to come, this book will be seen as having begun a new type of scholarship on judicial behavior and institutions.—Mitu Gulati, Duke University School of Law

The Behavior of Federal Judges sets out to be the definitive book on the subject of judicial behavior. The authors establish a new mainstream in this exciting field—a unified model of judicial behavior that incorporates legal, economic, and political perspectives. There is no question that this book is a major work, providing both a benchmark and an agenda for future work.—William H. J. Hubbard, University of Chicago Law School

Recent News

From Our Blog

Jacket, In Mrs. Tully’s Room: A Childcare Portrait by Vivian Gussin Paley, Harvard University Press

Remembering Vivian Gussin Paley

Renowned educator and author Vivian Gussin Paley died recently. Her former editor at Harvard University Press, Elizabeth Knoll, looks back on her life and work, which emphasized storytelling as an important tool in children’s learning. Vivian Gussin Paley was a small, gray-haired schoolteacher

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library ( extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.