Measuring Judicial Ideology Using Law Clerk Hiring
American Law and Economics Review 19(1):129-161, 2017
61 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2016 Last revised: 11 Sep 2017
Date Written: July 21, 2016
We present a new measure of judicial ideology based on judicial hiring behavior. Specifically, we utilize the ideology of the law clerks hired by federal judges to estimate the ideology of the judges themselves. These Clerk-Based Ideology (CBI) scores complement existing measures of judicial ideology in several ways. First, CBI scores can be estimated for judges across the federal judicial hierarchy. Second, CBI scores can capture temporal changes in ideology. Third, CBI scores avoid case selection and strategic behavior concerns that plague existing vote-based measures. We illustrate the promise of CBI scores through a number of applications.
Keywords: Political Ideologies, Law Clerks, Judges, Judicial Behavior, Judicial Ideology
JEL Classification: M51
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