I analyze 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 be "creative," i.e., to inefficiently contradict previous decisions.
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Volume (Year): 36 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (Summer)
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