Article

Determinants of Judicial Efficiency Change: Evidence from Brazil

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Abstract

Judicial efficiency matters for economic development. Nevertheless, the determinants of judicial productivity growth are not entirely understood. Using data of Brazil's state courts for the period of 2009 to 2014, this paper analyzes judicial productivity change and its possible determinants over time in a two stage approach. First, data envelopment analysis is used to calculate Malmquist productivity measures which are decomposed in: technical change (frontier-shift effect) and efficiency change (composed of pure efficiency change and scale efficiency change). In the second stage, fixed effect models are estimated to evaluate the associated factors with judicial productivity growth. The first stage results show a slight improvement in judicial productivity trend, which is defined mainly by efficiency change, since technical change deteriorated in the period. The second stage findings suggest the nonexistence of a trade-off between judicial quality and efficiency improvement. Moreover, judges’ remuneration, legal complexity and technological use are correlated with judicial productivity, however not always in the expected direction.

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... Kittelsen and Førsund (1992) perform an outlier detection analysis, in which the MPI and its components are shown in a histogram, with the labour share on the x-axis. Based on the diagrams, three courts are considered to be outliers, due to a large improvement or decline in TFP. 5 Fauvrelle and Almeida (2016) calculate the MPI and decompose it into TC and efficiency change (EC). ...
... 6 The results show, on average, a positive TFP change of 1.5%, which is decomposed into a decline of 1.7% in TC, a pure EC of 3.3%, and a scale EC of 0.7%. 7 Both Fauvrelle and Almeida (2016) and Kittelsen and Førsund (1992) use the averages of TFP change and decompose them into, at most, three components. However, neither of them investigates whether the changes are statistically significant. ...
... This court is highly specialised, but it is argued that very efficient courts may be more problematic.6 In the USA, a Ph.D. thesis byFerrandino (2010) investigates TFP change and decomposes it into the same components asFauvrelle and Almeida (2016). ...
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... Kittelsen and Førsund (1992) perform an outlier detection analysis, in which the MPI and its components are shown in a histogram, with the labour share on the x-axis. Based on the diagrams, three courts are considered to be outliers, due to a large improvement or decline in TFP. 5 Fauvrelle and Almeida (2016) calculate the MPI and decompose it into TC and efficiency change (EC). ...
... 6 The results show, on average, a positive TFP change of 1.5%, which is decomposed into a decline of 1.7% in TC, a pure EC of 3.3%, and a scale EC of 0.7%. 7 Both Fauvrelle and Almeida (2016) and Kittelsen and Førsund (1992) use the averages of TFP change and decompose them into, at most, three components. However, neither of them investigates whether the changes are statistically significant. ...
... This court is highly specialised, but it is argued that very efficient courts may be more problematic.6 In the USA, a Ph.D. thesis byFerrandino (2010) investigates TFP change and decomposes it into the same components asFauvrelle and Almeida (2016). ...
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This study measures the total factor productivity (TFP) of the Swedish district courts by applying data envelopment analysis to calculate the Malmquist productivity index (MPI) of 48 Swedish district courts from 2012 to 2015. In contrast to the limited international literature on court productivity, this study uses a fully decomposed MPI. A bootstrapping approach is further applied to compute confidence intervals for each decomposed factor of TFP. The findings show a 1.7%average decline of TFP, annually. However, a substantial variation between years can be observed in the number of statistically significant courts below and aboveunity. The averages of the components show that the negative impact is mainlydriven by negative technical change. Large variations are also observed over time where the small courts have the largest volatility. Two recommendations are: (1)that district courts with negative TFP growth could learn from those with positive TFP growth; and (2) that the back-up labour force could be developed to enhance flexibility.
... Existing research has identified a broad range of salient determinants of efficacy of justice in Brazil (see e.g. Fauvrelle and Almeida, 2018;Gomes et al., 2018;Sousa and Guimaraes, 2018). However, none of the existing contributions have examined the efficacy repercussions of multidomain judging, the focus of our article. ...
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... A subset of prior contributions has focused on characterizing the productive efficiency of Brazilian courts (e.g., Yeung, 2020;Yeung & Azevedo, 2011). A further set of pertinent works investigates the correlates of judicial productivity or efficiency (e.g., Gomes et al., 2016;Fauvrelle & Almeida 2018;de Castro, 2009;Sousa & Guimaraes, 2018). Caseload, in particular, has been shown to be a salient determinant of the output of Brazilian judges (e.g., Gomes et al., 2017aGomes et al., , 2017b, a finding resonating with evidence from other jurisdictions (Voigt, 2016). ...
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Delay undermines the performance of courts around the world. Its implications and possible solutions, however, are not so widely understood. The assessment of the efficiency of delay as a rationing mechanism requires a general theory, which looks at the effect on the number of conflicts, suits, settlements and trials. The outcome is somewhat disturbing: delay may be socially beneficial, but the assumptions seem prohibitively strict. The policy implications are that court delay is best reduced via increases in court fees and improvements in legislative and judicial quality.
Article
We use panel data on Israeli courts to estimate the “production function” for case dispositions. Our results show that the number of case dispositions is independent of the number of serving judges, and that “productivity”, as measured by completed cases per judge, varies directly with the caseload per judge. These results suggest that the productivity of judges is endogenous; for the same caseload judges complete more cases under pressure, and complete less when new judges are appointed. They also suggest that the practice of determining the number of judges by fixed “Leontieff” input–output coefficients is not appropriate.