The Duration of Judicial Deliberation: Evidence from Belgium

42 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2016

See all articles by Samantha Bielen

Samantha Bielen

Hasselt University - Faculty of Applied Economics

Wim Marneffe

Hasselt University - Faculty of Applied Economics

Peter Grajzl

Washington and Lee University - Department of Economics; CESifo

Valentina P. Dimitrova-Grajzl

Virginia Military Institute

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 16, 2016

Abstract

We utilize case-level data from a large Belgian court to study a policy-relevant but thus far empirically unexplored aspect of judicial behavior: the time that a judge takes to deliberate on a case before rendering a verdict. Exploiting the de facto random administrative assignment of filed cases among the serving judges and using survival analysis methods, we find that the duration of judicial deliberation varies not only with measures of case complexity, but also with judge and disputing party characteristics. We further find evidence consistent with the hypothesis that longer judicial deliberation improves the quality of judicial decisions.

Keywords: judicial deliberation, case-level data, survival analysis, speed-quality tradeoff, Belgium

JEL Classification: K400, K410, K490

Suggested Citation

Bielen, Samantha and Marneffe, Wim and Grajzl, Peter and Dimitrova-Grajzl, Valentina P., The Duration of Judicial Deliberation: Evidence from Belgium (June 16, 2016). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5947. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2809101

Samantha Bielen

Hasselt University - Faculty of Applied Economics ( email )

Agoralaan 30, Building D
Diepenbeek, 3590
Belgium

Wim Marneffe

Hasselt University - Faculty of Applied Economics ( email )

Agoralaan 30, Building D
Diepenbeek, 3590
Belgium

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

Valentina P. Dimitrova-Grajzl

Virginia Military Institute ( email )

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

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