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Fewer courts, less justice? Evidence from the 2008 French reform of labor courts

Romain Espinosa, Claudine Desrieux () and Hengrui Wan
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Claudine Desrieux: CRED - Centre de Recherche en Economie et Droit - UP2 - Université Panthéon-Assas
Hengrui Wan: ENSAE Paris - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique

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Abstract: The need to provide a high-quality justice at reasonable cost represents a current challenge for many public authorities. Many reform projects propose to remove some courts in order to rationalize the judiciary. This paper explores the 2008 French reform of labor courts (removing 20% of the courts) to empirically investigate the determinants of the removal decision, and its consequences on caseload and case duration in the remaining courts. This represents -to our knowledge- the first attempt to evaluate the impacts of courts' removal. Using panel data, our empirical strategy is based on probit estimations, counterfactuals, as well as 3SLS estimations. Our results show that the reform targeted small and concentrated courts. At the aggregated national level, it appears that duration did not increase, but the demand for litigation decreased. Locally, we find that courts were affected in different ways according to the relative burden they took on.

Keywords: courts’ removal; judiciary reform; caseload; judicial map; case duration (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Published in European Journal of Law and Economics, 2017, 43 (2), pp.195-237. ⟨10.1007/s10657-015-9507-y⟩

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DOI: 10.1007/s10657-015-9507-y

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