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The Value of Information in the Court: Get It Right, Keep It Tight

Iaryczower, Matias and Shum, Matthew (2002) The Value of Information in the Court: Get It Right, Keep It Tight. American Economic Review, 102 (1). pp. 202-237. ISSN 0002-8282. doi:10.1257/aer.102.1.202.

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We estimate an equilibrium model of decision making in the US Supreme Court that takes into account both private information and ideological differences between justices. We measure the value of information in the court by the probability that a justice votes differently from how she would have voted without case-specific information. Our results suggest a sizable value of information: in 44 percent of cases, justices' initial leanings are changed by their personal assessments of the case. Our results also confirm the increased politicization of the Supreme Court in the last quarter century. Counterfactual simulations provide implications for institutional design.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription ItemEarlier version is Caltech Social Science Working Paper 1313R
Shum, Matthew0000-0002-6262-915X
Additional Information:© 2012 American Economic Association. We thank anonymous referees for their insightful comments and suggestions. We also thank Ernesto Dal Bo, Joshua Fischman, John Matsusaka, Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, and participants at the 21st Stony Brook Game Theory Festival and the Empirical-Micro Workshops at Claremont-McKenna College, UPenn, USC, and Vanderbilt University for useful comments to previous versions of the paper. NSF grants SES-1061326 (Iaryczower) and SES-1061266 (Shum) are gratefully acknowledged.
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Issue or Number:1
Classification Code:JEL: D72, D82, D83, K10
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160329-092158395
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Official Citation:Iaryczower, Matias, and Matthew Shum. 2012. "The Value of Information in the Court: Get It Right, Keep It Tight." American Economic Review, 102(1): 202-37. DOI: 10.1257/aer.102.1.202
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:65728
Deposited By: Susan Vite
Deposited On:31 Mar 2016 23:13
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:49

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