I return to The Behavior of Federal Judges which I have lauded and discussed in earlier posts. The authors (Epstein, Landes and Posner) use a labor-market model that assumes judicial actors make rational choices.
The authors consider judges–and specifically district judges–just like other economic actors. That is, federal district judges are self-interested. They are motivated by pecuniary aspects of their work as well as non-pecuniary aspects of their work.
One can apply a rational choice model to all sorts of vocations and avocations. Remember, rational actors in the labor market are motivated by non-pecuniary aspects of their work, like opportunities for leisure, and not merely pecuniary incentives.
So, just for fun, let’s try to apply rational choice theory to federal district judges who surf but only on weekends.
You first need to know what the judicial-surfer actually does before you can apply rational choice analysis. Once you know that, you can begin to question whether a rational judicial-surfer would engage in the activity.
Consider the following:
Knowing the foregoing, would our rational judicial-surfer surf? In this post, it is best to leave that question unanswered.
Later, I will write about psychic satisfaction and how that fits (or does not fit) into a rational choice model of the behavior of federal district judges. For now, surf’s up!
Photo credit: By Space & Light Photostream (Thierry Gregorius) per Creative Commons License.