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Delegation in a multi-tier court system: Are remands in the U.S. federal courts driven by moral hazard?

Roee Sarel and Melanie Demirtas

European Journal of Political Economy, 2021, vol. 68, issue C

Abstract: Appellate judges face a trade-off when deciding whether to remand cases: delegating the decision power enables to transfer effort costs to the lower court, but may be costly in terms of ideological preferences and reputation costs. Our empirical analysis of federal cases reveals that this trade-off creates a ‘Subsequent Remand Effect’: cases remanded by the Supreme Court to appellate courts are far more likely to be subsequently remanded to district courts, compared to other cases. This effect varies with judicial ideologies, suggesting that the tendency to (subsequently) remand might be driven by moral hazard problems rather than case-relevant attributes.

Keywords: Remands; Federal courts; Appeals; Judicial ideology; Ideological distance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D02 K41 P48 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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Working Paper: Delegation in a multi-tier court system: are remands in the U.S. federal courts driven by moral hazard? (2019) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:poleco:v:68:y:2021:i:c:s0176268020301476

DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2020.101999

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