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Implementation of anti-discrimination policy: does judicial selection matter?

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  • Besley, Timothy
  • Payne, A. Abigail

Abstract

One of the most striking changes in labor market policy of the past fifty 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 favor of plaintiffs. Courts also play an important role in the evolution of antidiscrimination 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 proemployee 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 & Payne, A. Abigail, 2005. "Implementation of anti-discrimination policy: does judicial selection matter?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3768, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:3768
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. 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.
    3. Carmine Guerriero, 2008. "Accountability in Government and Regulatory Policies: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 2008.55, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    4. Guerriero, Carmine, 2011. "Accountability in government and regulatory policies: Theory and evidence," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 453-469.
    5. Enikolopov, Ruben, 2014. "Politicians, bureaucrats and targeted redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 74-83.
    6. Ruben Enikolopov, 2010. "Politicians, Bureaucrats and Targeted Redistribution: The Role of Career Concerns," Working Papers w0148, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
    7. Ruben Enikolopov, 2011. "Are Bureaucrats Really Paid Like Bureaucrats?," Working Papers w0165, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General

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