Judicial Incentives and Performance at Lower Courts: Evidence from Slovenian Judge-Level Data
Valentina P. Dimitrova-Grajzl
Virginia Military Institute
Washington and Lee University - Department of Economics
University of Primorska - Faculty of Management
University of Ljubljana - Faculty of Law
November 3, 2011
Empirical studies of judicial behavior using judge-level data are scarce and almost exclusively focused on higher court judges in the U.S. The majority of disputes in any legal system, however, are adjudicated by lower court judges and conclusions about judicial behavior from one legal system cannot be generalized to other legal systems. This paper draws on unique judge-level data to study judicial performance at lower courts in Slovenia, a post-socialist member state of the European Union struggling with implementation of an effective judicial system. We first examine the determinants of judicial productivity and elucidate the role of a judge's demographic characteristics, education, experience, salary, promotion concerns, and case specialization. We then explore the possible tradeoff between the quantity and quality of judicial case resolution, shedding light on the benefits and costs of those legal reform measures that aim to increase judicial productivity in Slovenian lower courts.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 35
Keywords: Judicial productivity, judge-level data, quantity-quality tradeoff
JEL Classification: K40, K49, P37working papers series
Date posted: September 19, 2011 ; Last revised: November 3, 2011
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