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Careerist Judges

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  • Gilat Levy

Abstract

In this paper I analyse how careerist judges formulate their decisions using information they uncover during deliberations as well as relevant information from previous decisions. I assume that judges have reputation concerns and try to signal to an evaluator that they can interpret the law correctly. If an appeal is brought, the appellate court's decision reveals whether the judge interpreted the law properly and allows the evaluator to assess the judge's ability. The monitoring possibilities for the evaluator are therefore endogenous, because the probability of an appeal depends on the judge's decision. I find that judges with career concerns tend to contradict previous decisions inefficiently. I also show that judges behave more efficiently when elected by the public than when appointed by fellow superior judges.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series with number 457.

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Date of creation: May 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cep:stitep:457

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Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/default.asp

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Keywords: Career concerns; judicial decision-making.;

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  1. Whitman, Douglas Glen, 2000. "Evolution of the Common Law and the Emergence of Compromise," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 753-81, June.
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  5. Rasmusen, E., 1993. "Judicial Legitimacy as a Repeated Game," Papers 93-017, Indiana - Center for Econometric Model Research.
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  8. Daughety, Andrew F & Reinganum, Jennifer F, 1999. "Stampede to Judgment: Persuasive Influence and Herding Behavior by Courts," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1-2), pages 158-89, Fall.
  9. Salzberger, Eli & Fenn, Paul, 1999. "Judicial Independence: Some Evidence from the English Court of Appeal," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 831-47, October.
  10. Stephen Morris, 1999. "Political Correctness," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1242, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  11. William M. Landes & Richard A. Posner, 1976. "Legal Precedent: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," NBER Working Papers 0146, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-51, November.
  13. Avery, Christopher N. & Chevalier, Judith A., 1999. "Herding over the career," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 327-333, June.
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