The Attenuation of Legal Change


This chapter, forthcoming in the Research Handbook on Law and Time – F. Fagan and S. Levmore editors, Edward Elgar 2024 – contributes to the literature on legal transition by offering a perspective on the “attenuation policy.” The attenuation policy invites the lawmaker to adjust its decisions to the contingent status of the parties, which might be favorable (high benefits/low costs deriving from the policy) or unfavorable (small benefits/high costs deriving from the policy). The attenuation policy provides parties with insurance, with a negligible impact on efficiency. The chapter puts the attenuation policy in perspective and compares it to other transition tools.