Understanding the Time to Court Case Resolution: A Competing Risks Analysis Using Belgian Data

43 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2016 Last revised: 23 Jul 2018

See all articles by Samantha Bielen

Samantha Bielen

Hasselt University - Faculty of Applied Economics

Peter Grajzl

Washington and Lee University - Department of Economics; CESifo

Wim Marneffe

Hasselt University - Faculty of Applied Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 10, 2017

Abstract

Court delays are a frequent concern, yet what explains court case duration remains incompletely understood. We study the time to court case resolution by drawing on a detailed case-level dataset of civil suits filed at a major Belgian court. We utilize the competing risks regression framework to address the typically neglected heterogeneity in the modes of court case resolution and examine the role of a wide range of both time-invariant and time-varying covariates. Controlling for judge fixed effects, we find substantial disparities in the effect of party and case characteristics on the time to settlement versus trial judgment. Exploiting the de facto random assignment of cases to serving judges within the court's chambers, we further find that judge characteristics matter for time to trial judgment, but not for time to settlement. Modeling heterogeneity in the modes of court case resolution is therefore central to understanding of court case durations.

Keywords: court delays, competing risks, trial judgment, settlement, Belgium

JEL Classification: K41, K12, P48

Suggested Citation

Bielen, Samantha and Grajzl, Peter and Marneffe, Wim, Understanding the Time to Court Case Resolution: A Competing Risks Analysis Using Belgian Data (April 10, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2847109 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2847109

Samantha Bielen

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

Wim Marneffe

Hasselt University - Faculty of Applied Economics ( email )

Agoralaan 30, Building D
Diepenbeek, 3590
Belgium

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