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Whistleblowing and Compliance in the Judicial Hierarchy

Beim, Deborah and Hirsch, Alexander V. and Kastellec, Jonathan P. (2014) Whistleblowing and Compliance in the Judicial Hierarchy. American Journal of Political Science, 58 (4). pp. 904-918. ISSN 0092-5853.

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One way that principals can overcome the problem of informational asymmetries in hierarchical organizations is to enable whistleblowing. We evaluate how whistleblowing influences compliance in the judicial hierarchy. We present a formal model in which a potential whistleblower may, at some cost, signal noncompliance by a lower court to a higher court. A key insight of the model is that whistleblowing is most informative when it is rare. While the presence of a whistleblower can increase compliance by lower courts, beyond a certain point blowing the whistle is counterproductive and actually reduces compliance. Moreover, a whistleblower who is a “perfect ally” of the higher court (in terms of preferences) blows the whistle too often. Our model shows an important connection between the frequency of whistleblowing and the effectiveness of whistleblowing as a threat to induce compliance in hierarchical organizations.

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Additional Information:© 2014 Midwest Political Science Association. First published: 03 April 2014. We thank Tom Clark, Joshua Fischman, Justin Fox, Sandy Gordon, Lewis Kornhauser, James Rogers, and participants at Princeton University's Political Methodology Colloquium, Emory University's Conference on Institutions and Law‐Making, and the LSE‐NYU Conference on Political Science and Political Economy, for helpful comments and suggestions.
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190430-081921310
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Official Citation:Beim, D. , Hirsch, A. V. and Kastellec, J. P. (2014), Whistleblowing and Compliance in the Judicial Hierarchy. American Journal of Political Science, 58: 904-918. doi:10.1111/ajps.12108
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:95106
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:30 Apr 2019 15:59
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 21:10

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