Tenured public officials such as judges are often thought to be indifferent to theconcerns of the electorate and, as a result, potentially lacking in discipline butunlikely to pander to public opinion. We investigate this proposition empiricallyusing data on promotion decisions taken by senior English judges between 1985 and2005. Throughout this period the popular view was one of ill-disciplined elitism:senior judges were alleged to be favouring candidates from elite backgrounds overtheir equally capable non-elite counterparts. We find no evidence of such illdiscipline;most of the unconditional difference in promotion prospects between thetwo groups can simply be explained by differences in promotion-relevantcharacteristics. However, exploiting an unexpected proposal to remove control overpromotions from the judiciary, we do find evidence of pandering. When faced by theprospect of losing autonomy, senior judges began to favour non-elite candidates, aswell as candidates who were unconnected to members of the promotion committee.Our finding that tenured public officials can display both the upsides and downsidesof electoral accountability has implications for the literature on political agency, aswell as recent constitutional reforms.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2008|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/default.asp|
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.:
- Eric Le Borgne & Gauti B. Eggertsson, 2007. "Dynamic Incentives and the Optimal Delegation of Political Power," IMF Working Papers 07/91, International Monetary Fund.
- Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1990. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Job Ladders," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages S106-23, January.
- Eric Maskin, 2003.
"The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government,"
Theory workshop papers
505798000000000076, UCLA Department of Economics.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ignacio Palacios-Huerta & Oscar Volij, 2002.
"The Measurement of Intellectual Influence,"
Economic theory and game theory
015, Oscar Volij.
- John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2007.
"Bureaucrats or Politicians? Part I: A Single Policy Task,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
321307000000000870, David K. Levine.
- 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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cep:stieop:002. 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: ()
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.