Courts in a Transition Economy: Case Disposition and the Quantity-Quality Tradeoff in Bulgaria

45 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2015

See all articles by Valentina P. Dimitrova-Grajzl

Valentina P. Dimitrova-Grajzl

Virginia Military Institute

Peter Grajzl

Washington and Lee University - Department of Economics; CESifo

Atanas Slavov

Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski

Katarina Zajc

University of Ljubljana - Faculty of Law

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 31, 2015

Abstract

The lack of effective judiciary in post-socialist countries has been a pervasive concern and successful judicial reform an elusive goal. Yet to date, little empirical research exists on the functioning of courts in the post-socialist world. We draw on a new court-level panel dataset from Bulgaria to study the determinants of court case disposition and to evaluate whether judicial decision-making is subject to a quantity-quality tradeoff. Addressing endogeneity concerns, we find that case disposition in Bulgarian courts is largely driven by demand for court services. The number of serving judges, a key court resource, matters to a limited extent only in a subsample of courts, a result suggesting that judges adjust their productivity based on the number of judges serving at a court. We do not find evidence implying that increasing court productivity would decrease adjudicatory quality. We discuss the policy implications of our findings.

Keywords: courts, post-socialist countries, case disposition, quantity-quality tradeoff

JEL Classification: P370, K400, D020

Suggested Citation

Dimitrova-Grajzl, Valentina P. and Grajzl, Peter and Slavov, Atanas and Zajc, Katarina, Courts in a Transition Economy: Case Disposition and the Quantity-Quality Tradeoff in Bulgaria (March 31, 2015). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5283. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2593704

Valentina P. Dimitrova-Grajzl

Virginia Military Institute ( email )

Department of Economics and Business
Scott Shipp Hall
Lexington, VA 24450
United States

Peter Grajzl (Contact Author)

Washington and Lee University - Department of Economics ( email )

Lexington, VA 24450
United States

HOME PAGE: http://home.wlu.edu/~grajzlp/

CESifo ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Atanas Slavov

Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski ( email )

15, Tzar Osvoboditel Blvd.
Sofia, 1504
Bulgaria

Katarina Zajc

University of Ljubljana - Faculty of Law ( email )

Dunajska 104
1000 Ljubljana, 1000
Slovenia

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