The influence of decision-maker effort and case complexity on appealed rulings subject to multi-categorical selection
This study extends the standard econometric treatment of appellate court outcomes by 1) considering the role of decision-maker effort and case complexity, and 2) adopting a multi-categorical selection process of appealed cases. We find evidence of appellate courts being affected by both the effort made by first-stage decision makers and case complexity. This illustrates the value of widening the narrowly defined focus on heterogeneity in individual-specific preferences that characterises many applied studies on legal decision-making. Further, the majority of appealed cases represent non-random sub-samples and the multi-categorical selection process appears to offer advantages over the more commonly used dichotomous selection models.
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