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Implementation of Anti-Discrimination Policy: Does Judicial Selection Matter?

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  • Besley, Timothy J.
  • Payne, A. Abigail

Abstract

One of the most striking changes in labour market policy of the past 50 years has come in the form of legislation to limit discrimination in the workplace based on race, gender, disability and age. If such measures are to be effective in ending discrimination, they need to be enforced. The latter is dependent on state and federal agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission and ultimately the willingness of courts to find in favour of plaintiffs. Courts also play an important role in the evolution of anti-discrimination policy since past decisions create future precedent. This paper asks whether the number of charges filed with government agencies depends on the method by which judges are selected. Popularly elected judges should be expected to have more pro-employee preferences (selection) and should move closer to employee preferences (incentives). This should result in fewer anti-discrimination charges being filed in states that appoint their judges. In line with this prediction, this paper uses data on the number of employment discrimination charges filed for the period 1973-2000 and finds that states that appoint their judges have fewer anti-discrimination charges being filed.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5211.

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Date of creation: Sep 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5211

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Keywords: discrimination; judicial system;

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References

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  1. Besley, Timothy J. & Coate, Stephen, 2001. "Issue Unbundling via Citizens' initiatives," CEPR Discussion Papers 2857, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. William J. Collins, 2001. "The Labor Market Impact of State-Level Anti-Discrimination Laws, 1940-1960," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0108, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  3. Stephen Coate & Timothy Besley, 2000. "Elected versus Appointed Regulators: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7579, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Hanssen, F Andrew, 2002. " On the Politics of Judicial Selection: Lawyers and State Campaigns for the Merit Plan," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 110(1-2), pages 79-97, January.
  9. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Cristian Pop-Eleches & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Judicial Checks and Balances," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 445-470, April.
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  12. Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2003. "Instrumental variables and GMM: Estimation and testing," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 3(1), pages 1-31, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Guerriero, Carmine, 2011. "Accountability in government and regulatory policies: Theory and evidence," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 453-469.
  2. Ruben Enikolopov, 2010. "Politicians, Bureaucrats and Targeted Redistribution: The Role of Career Concerns," Working Papers w0148, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  3. Ruben Enikolopov, 2011. "Are Bureaucrats Really Paid Like Bureaucrats?," Working Papers w0165, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  4. Mark Partridge & Tim Sass, 2011. "The productivity of elected and appointed officials: the case of school superintendents," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 149(1), pages 133-149, October.

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