IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Judicial decision making under changing legal standards: The case of dismissal arbitration

Listed author(s):
  • Freyens, Benoit Pierre
  • Gong, Xiaodong

The paper analyses how government actions affect judicial decision making in Australian labour courts arbitrating dismissal disputes. We isolate two channels through which these effects materialise: statutory reforms, which change legal standards, and strategic appointments, which change court composition. We analyse the probability of plaintiff success in courts using a panel of 81 judges and 2223 judicial decisions made between 2001 and 2015. We test for and subsequently exploit the randomised matching of labour court judges with unfair dismissal cases. We find significant effects from both channels: judges’ work background and changes to legal standards are strong predictors of case outcomes. Furthermore, we find evidence of compensating effects: judges with a progressive background rule more often in favour of dismissed employees if legal reforms adversely affect their chance of success in court.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268116302463
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 133 (2017)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 108-126

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:133:y:2017:i:c:p:108-126
DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2016.10.017
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Ioana Marinescu, 2011. "Are Judges Sensitive to Economic Conditions? Evidence from Uk Employment Tribunals," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 64(4), pages 673-698, July.
  2. Michael Berlemann & Robin Christmann, 2016. "Do judges react to the probability of appellate review? Empirical evidence from trial court procedures," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(3), pages 202-205, February.
  3. Pablo T. Spiller & Rafael Gely, 1992. "Congressional Control or Judicial Independence: The Determinants of U.S. Supreme Court Labor-Relations Decisions, 1949-1988," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(4), pages 463-492, Winter.
  4. Revesz, Richard L, 2000. "Litigation and Settlement in the Federal Appellate Courts: Impact of Panel Selection Procedures on Ideologically Divided Courts," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 685-710, June.
  5. Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 681-704.
  6. Booth, James Francis & Freyens, Benoit Pierre, 2014. "A study of political activism in labour courts," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(3), pages 370-373.
  7. Jonathan P. Kastellec, 2007. "Panel Composition and Judicial Compliance on the US Courts of Appeals," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(2), pages 421-441, June.
  8. Sean Farhang, 2004. "Institutional Dynamics on the U.S. Court of Appeals: Minority Representation Under Panel Decision Making," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 299-330, October.
  9. Wittman, Donald, 1988. "Dispute Resolution, Bargaining, and the Selection of Cases for Trial: A Study of the Generation of Biased and Unbiased Data," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 313-352, June.
  10. Kessler, Daniel & Meites, Thomas & Miller, Geoffrey P, 1996. "Explaining Deviations from the Fifty-Percent Rule: A Multimodal Approach to the Selection of Cases for Litigation," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(1), pages 233-259, January.
  11. Martin Schneider, 2005. "Judicial Career Incentives and Court Performance: An Empirical Study of the German Labour Courts of Appeal," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 127-144, September.
  12. Berger, Helge & Neugart, Michael, 2011. "Labor courts, nomination bias, and unemployment in Germany," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 659-673.
  13. Salzberger, Eli M., 1993. "A positive analysis of the doctrine of separation of powers, or: Why do we have an independent judiciary?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 349-379, December.
  14. Cohen, Mark A., 1992. "The motives of judges: Empirical evidence from antitrust sentencing," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 13-30, March.
  15. Matthew Spitzer & Eric Talley, 2013. "Left, Right, and Center: Strategic Information Acquisition and Diversity in Judicial Panels," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(3), pages 638-680, June.
  16. Miceli, Thomas J. & Cosgel, Metin M., 1994. "Reputation and judicial decision-making," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 31-51, January.
  17. Ichino, Andrea & Polo, Michele & Rettore, Enrico, 2003. "Are judges biased by labor market conditions?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(5), pages 913-944, October.
  18. Eisenberg, Theodore, 1990. "Testing the Selection Effect: A New Theoretical Framework with Empirical Tests," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 337-358, June.
  19. Malcomson, James M., 1999. "Individual employment contracts," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 35, pages 2291-2372 Elsevier.
  20. Siegelman, Peter & Waldfogel, Joel, 1999. "Toward a Taxonomy of Disputes: New Evidence through the Prism of the Priest/Klein Model," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 101-130, January.
  21. Paul Oslington & Benoit Pierre Freyens, 2013. "A First Look at Incidence and Outcomes of Unfair Dismissal Claims under Fair Work, WorkChoices and the Workplace Relations Act," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 16(2), pages 295-306.
  22. Daniel Klerman & Yoon-Ho Alex Lee, 2014. "Inferences from Litigated Cases," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 209-248.
  23. Ashenfelter, Orley & Eisenberg, Theodore & Schwab, Stewart J, 1995. "Politics and the Judiciary: The Influence of Judicial Background on Case Outcomes," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 257-281, June.
  24. George L. Priest & Benjamin Klein, 1984. "The Selection of Disputes for Litigation," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 1-56, January.
  25. Landes, William M & Posner, Richard A, 1975. "The Independent Judiciary in an Interest-Group Perspective," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 875-901, December.
  26. Kuran, Timur, 1990. "Private and Public Preferences," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 1-26, April.
  27. Joshua B. Fischman, 2015. "Interpreting Circuit Court Voting Patterns: A Social Interactions Framework," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(4), pages 808-842.
  28. Stephen J. Choi & Mitu Gulati & Eric A. Posner, 2012. "What Do Federal District Judges Want? An Analysis of Publications, Citations, and Reversals," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(3), pages 518-549, August.
  29. Siegelman, Peter & Donohue, John J, III, 1995. "The Selection of Employment Discrimination Disputes for Litigation: Using Business Cycle Effects to Test the Priest-Klein Hypothesis," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 427-462, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:133:y:2017:i:c:p:108-126. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.