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Ellman article on SSRN Top Ten list

November 17, 2010

An article by Ira Ellman, a professor at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, entitled “Intuitive Lawmaking: The Example of Child Support,” made the Top Ten download lists for LSN: Parent’s Rights & Obligations (Topic) on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN).

The article was co-authored by Sanford L. Braver, a professor in the ASU Department of Psychology and Robert MacCoun, of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), and the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program and The Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.

From its abstract: “Legal rules are often understood as setting the appropriate balance between competing claims. One might expect policymakers to identify these competing claims and employ a systematic and comprehensive analysis to assign them relative values, and to generate legal rules that follow from those values. But probably, they will not. If policy is instead set by intuitive assessments of the fair balance between competing claims, policymakers would do well to have a good understanding of the public's intuitions about these policy questions. Would a careful study of such intuitions reveal a coherent analytic framework in lay policy judgments, even if most people are unlikely to articulate their views in that way? This study examines that question in the context of child support rules. Child support awards necessarily involve tradeoffs in the allocation of finite resources among at least three private parties: the two parents, and their child or children.”

Ellman’s current scholarly projects include an empirical investigation into how people make judgments about appropriate legal rules. He is a Willard H. Pedrick Distinguished Research Scholar and a Faculty Fellow in the College of Law’s Center for Law, Science & Innovation, an ASU Affiliate Professor of Psychology, and an affiliate faculty member of the Center for Child and Youth Policy at the University of California at Berkeley.

Janie Magruder,
Office of Communications, College of Law