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

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  • Valentina Dimitrova-Grajzl
  • Peter Grajzl
  • Atanas Slavov
  • Katarina Zajc

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Valentina Dimitrova-Grajzl & Peter Grajzl & Atanas Slavov & Katarina Zajc, 2015. "Courts in a Transition Economy: Case Disposition and the Quantity-Quality Tradeoff in Bulgaria," CESifo Working Paper Series 5283, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5283
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    Cited by:

    1. Samantha Bielen & Wim Marneffe & Peter Grajzl & Valentina Dimitrova-Grajzl, 2016. "The Duration of Judicial Deliberation: Evidence from Belgium," CESifo Working Paper Series 5947, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Stefan Voigt, 2016. "Determinants of judicial efficiency: a survey," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 183-208, October.
    3. Thiago De Araújo Fauvrelle & Aléssio Tony Cavalcanti De Almeida, 2018. "Determinants Of Judicial Efficiency Change: Evidence From Brazil," Anais do XLIV Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 44th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 79, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    4. Berlemann, Michael & Christmann, Robin, 2017. "The Role of Precedents on Court Delay - Evidence from a civil law country," MPRA Paper 80057, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    courts; post-socialist countries; case disposition; quantity-quality tradeoff;

    JEL classification:

    • P37 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Legal
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact

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