DP3948 | Careerist Judges


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In this Paper I analyse how careerist judges formulate their decisions using information they uncover during deliberations, as well as relevant information from previous decisions. I assume that judges have reputation concerns and try to signal to an evaluator that they can interpret the law correctly. If an appeal is brought, the appellate court?s decision reveals whether the judge interpreted properly the law and allows the evaluator to assess the judge?s ability. The monitoring possibilities for the evaluator are therefore endogenous, because the probability of an appeal depends on the judge?s decision. I find that judges with career concerns tend to inefficiently contradict previous decisions. I also show that such judges behave more efficiently when elected by the public than when appointed by fellow superior judges.