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

  • Timothy Besley
  • A. Abigail Payne

One of the most striking changes in labor market policy of the past fifty years has comein 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, theyneed to be enforced. The latter is dependent on state and federal agencies such as theEqual Employment Opportunities Commission and ultimately the willingness of courts tofind in favor of plaintiffs. Courts also play an important role in the evolution of antidiscriminationpolicy since past decisions create future precedent. This paper askswhether the number of charges filed with government agencies depends on the method bywhich judges are selected. Popularly elected judges should be expected to have more proemployeepreferences (selection) and should move closer to employee preferences(incentives). This should result in fewer anti-discrimination charges being filed in statesthat appoint their judges. In line with this prediction, this paper uses data on the numberof employment discrimination charges filed for the period 1973-2000 and finds that statesthat appoint their judges have fewer anti-discrimination charges being filed.

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Paper provided by Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series with number 04.

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Date of creation: Aug 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cep:stipep:04
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/default.asp

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  1. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 2003. "Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 7-73, March.
  2. William J. Collins, 2003. "The labor market impact of state-level anti-discrimination laws, 1940-1960," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(2), pages 244-272, January.
  3. David Neumark & Wendy A. Stock, 2001. "The Effects of Race and Sex Discrimination Laws," NBER Working Papers 8215, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Angrist, J D & Imbens, G W & Krueger, A B, 1999. "Jackknife Instrumental Variables Estimation," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(1), pages 57-67, Jan.-Feb..
  5. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2008. "Issue Unbundling via Citizens' Initiatives," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 3(4), pages 379-397, December.
  6. Hanssen, F Andrew, 1999. "The Effect of Judicial Institutions on Uncertainty and the Rate of Litigation: The Election versus Appointment of State Judges," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 205-32, January.
  7. Hayes, Beth, 1984. "Unions and Strikes with Asymmetric Information," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 57-83, January.
  8. William M. Landes & Richard A. Posner, 1975. "The Independent Judiciary in an Interest-Group Perspective," NBER Working Papers 0110, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Legal Origins," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1193-1229, November.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Henning Bohn & Robert P. Inman, 1996. "Balanced Budget Rules and Public Deficits: Evidence from the U.S. States," NBER Working Papers 5533, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. F. Andrew Hanssen, 2004. "Is There a Politically Optimal Level of Judicial Independence?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 712-729, June.
  15. 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.
  16. Hanssen, F Andrew, 2000. "Independent Courts and Administrative Agencies: An Empirical Analysis of the States," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 534-71, October.
  17. Lucian Arye Bebchuk, 1984. "Litigation and Settlement under Imperfect Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(3), pages 404-415, Autumn.
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