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Courts in a Transition Economy: Case Disposition and the Quantity-Quality Tradeoff in Bulgaria

Listed author(s):
  • Valentina Dimitrova-Grajzl
  • Peter Grajzl
  • Atanas Slavov
  • Katarina Zajc

The lack of effective judiciary in post-socialist countries has been a pervasive concern and successful judicial reform an elusive goal. Yet to date, little empirical research exists on the functioning of courts in the post-socialist world. We draw on a new court-level panel dataset from Bulgaria to study the determinants of court case disposition and to evaluate whether judicial decision-making is subject to a quantity-quality tradeoff. Addressing endogeneity concerns, we find that case disposition in Bulgarian courts is largely driven by demand for court services. The number of serving judges, a key court resource, matters to a limited extent only in a subsample of courts, a result suggesting that judges adjust their productivity based on the number of judges serving at a court. We do not find evidence implying that increasing court productivity would decrease adjudicatory quality. We discuss the policy implications of our findings.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 5283.

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Date of creation: 2015
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5283
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