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The Dynamics of Law Clerk Matching: An Experimental and Computational Investigation of Proposals for Reform of the Market

Ernan Haruvy (), Alvin Roth () and Utku Unver ()

Experimental from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: In September of 1998, the Judicial Conference of the United States abandoned as unsuccessful the attempt—the sixth since 1978—to regulate the dates at which law students are hired as clerks by Federal appellate judges. The market promptly resumed the unraveling of appointment dates that had been temporarily slowed by these efforts. In the academic year 1999-2000 many judges hired clerks in the fall of the second year of law school, almost two years before employment would begin, and before hardly any information about candidates other than first year grades was available. Hiring dates moved still earlier in the Fall of 2000 and 2001. The present paper explores proposed reforms of the market, experimentally in the laboratory, and computationally using genetic algorithms. Our results suggest that some of the special features of the judge/law-clerk market—in particular the feeling among many students and judges that students must accept offers when they are made--present obstacles to the success of the proposed reforms, including the latest reform proposed by the judges, in March 2002, which is a one year moratorium on clerkship hiring. Unlike many markets in which the inability to make binding contracts contributes to market failure, in the law clerk market it is the ease with which binding contracts are forged that harms efficiency.

JEL-codes: C8 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cmp and nep-exp
Date: 2004-04-02
Note: Type of Document - pdf
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (10) Track citations by RSS feed

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Journal Article: The dynamics of law clerk matching: An experimental and computational investigation of proposals for reform of the market (2006) Downloads
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