Testing Appellate Court Assignments as a Natural Experiment: Gender Induced Panel Effects in Sex-Discrimination Cases
21 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2015
Date Written: July 10, 2015
The random assignment of judges in the US Appellate Courts has been underutilized in the study of court panel effects. The present study treats case assignment in the US Appellate Courts as a natural experiment, testing for panel effects of female judges in Title VII sex discrimination cases, comparing the votes of male fellow-panelists when the treatment judge is a female with the votes of fellow-panelists of the control judges who are male and of the same party as the female judge. All comparisons are within the same circuit and within the same two-year time window. The paper finds support for strong panel effects - that female judges influence the votes of male judges to be more liberal on sex discrimination cases.
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