Are tenured judges insulated from political pressure?
Tenured public officials such as judges are often thought to be insulated from political pressure and, as a result, indifferent to the concerns of the electorate. We investigate this proposition empirically using data on promotion decisions taken by senior English judges between 1985 and 2005. Throughout this period the popular view was one of ill-disciplined elitism: senior judges were alleged to be favouring candidates from elite backgrounds over their equally capable non-elite counterparts. We find evidence in support of this view to be surprisingly weak; most of the unconditional difference in promotion prospects between the two groups can simply be explained by differences in promotion-relevant characteristics. We then exploit an unexpected proposal to remove control over promotions from the judiciary and find that judges' behaviour dramatically changed. When faced by the prospect of losing autonomy, senior judges began to favour non-elite candidates, as well as candidates who were unconnected to members of the promotion committee.
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.
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.
Volume (Year): 95 (2011)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578|
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.:
- Iaryczower, Matias & Lewis, Garrett & Shum, Matthew, 2013. "To elect or to appoint? Bias, information, and responsiveness of bureaucrats and politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 230-244.
- Manuel F. Bagüés & Berta Esteve-Volart, 2007.
"Can gender parity break the glass ceiling? Evidence from a repeated randomized experiment,"
- Manuel F. Bagues & Berta Esteve-Volart, 2010. "Can Gender Parity Break the Glass Ceiling? Evidence from a Repeated Randomized Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1301-1328.
- Volij, Oscar & Palacios-Huerta, Ignacio, 2004.
"The Measurment of Intellectual Influence,"
Staff General Research Papers Archive
10797, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- Train,Kenneth E., 2009.
"Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521747387, May.
- Joseph Price & Justin Wolfers, 2010.
"Racial Discrimination Among NBA Referees,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1859-1887.
- Joseph Price & Justin Wolfers, 2007. "Racial Discrimination Among NBA Referees," NBER Working Papers 13206, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Price, Joseph & Wolfers, Justin, 2007. "Racial Discrimination Among NBA Referees," CEPR Discussion Papers 6369, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Price, Joseph & Wolfers, Justin, 2007. "Racial Discrimination Among NBA Referees," IZA Discussion Papers 2863, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Christian Schultz, 2003.
"Information, Polarization and Delegation in Democracy,"
EPRU Working Paper Series
03-16, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
- Christian Schultz, 2003. "Information, Polarization and Delegation in Democracy," CESifo Working Paper Series 1104, CESifo Group Munich.
- John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
- Gordon, Sanford C. & Huber, Gregory A., 2007. "The Effect of Electoral Competitiveness on Incumbent Behavior," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 2(2), pages 107-138, May.
- Gauti B. Eggertsson & Eric Le Borgne, 2003.
"A Political Agency Theory of Central Bank Independence,"
IMF Working Papers
03/144, International Monetary Fund.
- Gauti B. Eggertsson & Eric Le Borgne, 2010. "A Political Agency Theory of Central Bank Independence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(4), pages 647-677, 06.
- Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004.
"The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1034-1054, September.
- Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," Economics Working Papers 0020, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
- Eric Maskin, 2003. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," Theory workshop papers 505798000000000076, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Besley, Timothy J. & Coate, Stephen, 2000.
"Elected Versus Appointed Regulators: Theory And Evidence,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 2003. "Elected Versus Appointed Regulators: Theory and Evidence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1176-1206, 09.
- Stephen Coate & Timothy Besley, 2000. "Elected versus Appointed Regulators: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7579, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2007.
"Bureaucrats or Politicians? Part I: A Single Policy Task,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 169-179, March.
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2007. "Bureaucrats or Politicians? Part I: A Single Policy Task," Levine's Working Paper Archive 321307000000000870, David K. Levine.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:7:p:570-586. 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: (Shamier, Wendy)
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.