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The Speed of Justice

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Can procedural reforms improve judicial efficiency? And do improvements in judicial efficiency benefit firms? We study a reform that gave judges in Senegal the powers to desk reject cases and the responsibility to complete pre-trials within four months. We combine three years of hearing-level caseload data and monthly firm tax filings with the staggered roll-out of the reform to produce three key results. First, the reform improved judicial efficiency, with no detrimental effect on quality. Second, firm monthly revenues drop by 8-11 percent upon entering pre-trial, with the effect concentrated on slower pre-trials. Third, monthly firm revenues decline by on average 3.2-5.0 percent for every 100 days a case spends in pre-trial. Survey results show firms are willing to pay higher legal fees to achieve post-reform speed, suggesting net positive benefits of the reform on firms.

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  • Florence Kondylis & Mattea Stein, 2021. "The Speed of Justice," CSEF Working Papers 609, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:609
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    Cited by:

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    2. Chemin, Matthieu & Chen, Daniel L. & Di Maro, Vincenzo & Kimalu, Paul & Mokaya, Momanyi & Ramos-Maqueda, Manuel, 2022. "Data Science for Justice: The Short-Term Effects of a Randomized Judicial Reform in Kenya," TSE Working Papers 22-1391, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    3. Joyce Sadka & Enrique Seira & Christopher Woodruff, 2018. "Information and Bargaining through Agents: Experimental Evidence from Mexico’s Labor Courts," NBER Working Papers 25137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Woodruff, Christopher & Sadka, Joyce & Seira Bejarano, Enrique, 2018. "Information and Bargaining through Agents: Experimental Evidence from Mexico’s Labor Courts," CEPR Discussion Papers 13261, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Matthieu Chemin, 2020. "Judicial Efficiency and Firm Productivity: Evidence from a World Database of Judicial Reforms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 102(1), pages 49-64, March.
    6. Decarolis, Francesco & Mattera, Gianpiero & Menon, Carlo, 2020. "Delays at the Border: Court Efficiency and Delays in Public Contracts," CEPR Discussion Papers 14856, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic development; Firms; Judicial efficiency.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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