Salary Erosion and Federal Judicial Resignation

16 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2008 Last revised: 28 Sep 2008

Date Written: September 25, 2008


This paper studies the effects of judicial salary erosion on federal judicial resignation levels using biographical data on federal judges. Our study is the first to study resignation levels exclusively and is the first to examine the post-resignation employment of federal judges. Prior literature has identified partisanship and pension eligibility as the primary determinants of judicial turnover. By contrast, we find that salary levels have a striking effect on judicial resignation levels which has been obscured in the turnover literature. Salary erosion increases the rate of judicial resignation and particularly increases the rate of resignation to return to private practice.

Keywords: Salary erosion, Judicial pay, Judicial resignation, Judicial turnover, Federal judiciary, Post-resignation judicial employment

JEL Classification: J30, J38, J44, J68, K40, M52

Suggested Citation

Kominers, Scott Duke, Salary Erosion and Federal Judicial Resignation (September 25, 2008). Available at SSRN: or

Scott Duke Kominers (Contact Author)

Harvard University ( email )

Rock Center
Harvard Business School
Boston, MA 02163
United States


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