Jobs for Justice(s): Corruption in the Supreme Court of India

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)33_Other conference paperpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages46
Publication statusPresented - May 2017

Conference

TitleAmerican Law and Economics Conference
LocationYale Law School
PlaceUnited States
CityNew Haven
Period12 - 13 May 2017

Abstract

We investigate whether judicial decisions are a↵ected by career concerns of judges by analysing two questions: Do judges respond to pandering incentives by ruling in favour of the government in the hope of receiving jobs after retiring from the Court? Does the government actually reward judges who ruled in its favour with prestigious jobs? To answer these questions we construct a dataset of all Supreme Court of India cases involving the government from 1999 till 2014, with an indicator for whether the decision was in its favour or not. We
find that pandering incentives have a causal e↵ect on judicial decision-making. The exposure of a judge to pandering incentives in a case is jointly determined by 1) the salience of the case (exogenously determined by a system of random allocation of cases) and 2) whether the judge retires with enough time left in a government’s term to be rewarded with a prestigious job (since the date of retirement is exogenously determined by law to be their 65th birthday).
Furthermore, we find that deciding in favour of the government is positively associated with the likelihood with which judges are appointed to prestigious post-Supreme Court jobs. These findings suggest the presence of corruption in the form government influence over judicial decision-making that seriously undermines judicial independence. Keywords: judicial decision-making, corruption, career concerns, public sector incentives.

Citation Format(s)

Jobs for Justice(s): Corruption in the Supreme Court of India. / Aney, Madhav S.; DAM, Shubhankar; Ko, Giovanni.

2017. American Law and Economics Conference, New Haven, United States.

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)33_Other conference paperpeer-review