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Measuring the gains from labor specialization

Decio Coviello, Andrea Ichino and Nicola Persico

LSE Research Online Documents on Economics from London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library

Abstract: We estimate the productivity effects of labor specialization using a judicial environment that offers a quasi-experimental setting well suited to this purpose. Judges in this environment are randomly assigned many different types of cases. This assignment generates random streaks of same-type cases which create mini-specialization events unrelated to the characteristics of judges or cases. We estimate that when judges receive more cases of a certain type they become faster, i.e., more likely to close cases of that type in any one of the corresponding hearings. Quality, as measured by probability of an appeal, is not negatively affected.

Keywords: labor specialization; productivity of workers; judges (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J00 K00 M50 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 41 pages
Date: 2019-11
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