The Impact of Modernization of Justice on Court Efficiency in Costa Rica
Over the last decade, there has been growing awareness regarding the importance of transparent and effective courts to achieve economic development. However, many Latin American countries find that their judicial system have important deficiencies in terms of access and efficiency. This paper studies the effect of court modernization on caseload clearance rates in Costa Rica. The analysis exploits the fact that the modernization occurred at different points in time. This observed variation in the allocation of the program across time and space provides a potential instrument to identify the causal effect of the modernization on courts efficiency. We find that the program is associated with an increase of 5 percent in clearance rates and with a reduction of 75 dollars per case disposed. The results are robust to alternative specifications.
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