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

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  • Besley, Timothy J.
  • Payne, A. Abigail

Abstract

One of the most striking changes in labour market policy of the past 50 years has come in 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, they need to be enforced. The latter is dependent on state and federal agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission and ultimately the willingness of courts to find in favour of plaintiffs. Courts also play an important role in the evolution of anti-discrimination policy since past decisions create future precedent. This paper asks whether the number of charges filed with government agencies depends on the method by which judges are selected. Popularly elected judges should be expected to have more pro-employee preferences (selection) and should move closer to employee preferences (incentives). This should result in fewer anti-discrimination charges being filed in states that appoint their judges. In line with this prediction, this paper uses data on the number of employment discrimination charges filed for the period 1973-2000 and finds that states that appoint their judges have fewer anti-discrimination charges being filed.

Suggested Citation

  • Besley, Timothy J. & Payne, A. Abigail, 2005. "Implementation of Anti-Discrimination Policy: Does Judicial Selection Matter?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5211, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5211
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    Cited by:

    1. Iaryczower, Matias & Lewis, Garrett & Shum, Matthew, 2013. "To elect or to appoint? Bias, information, and responsiveness of bureaucrats and politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 230-244.
    2. Ruben Enikolopov, 2010. "Politicians, Bureaucrats and Targeted Redistribution: The Role of Career Concerns," Working Papers w0148, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
    3. Mark Partridge & Tim Sass, 2011. "The productivity of elected and appointed officials: the case of school superintendents," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 149(1), pages 133-149, October.
    4. Ruben Enikolopov, 2011. "Are Bureaucrats Really Paid Like Bureaucrats?," Working Papers w0165, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
    5. Drazen, Allan & Ozbay, Erkut Y., 2019. "Does “being chosen to lead” induce non-selfish behavior? Experimental evidence on reciprocity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 174(C), pages 13-21.
    6. Guerriero, Carmine, 2011. "Accountability in government and regulatory policies: Theory and evidence," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 453-469.
    7. Enikolopov, Ruben, 2014. "Politicians, bureaucrats and targeted redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 74-83.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    discrimination; judicial system;

    JEL classification:

    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination
    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior

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