We quantify the effect of deliberation on the decisions of US appellate courts. We estimate a model in which strategic judges communicate before casting their votes and then compare the probability of mistakes in the court with deliberation with a counterfactual of no communication. The model has multiple equilibria, and preferences and information parameters are only partially identified. We find that there is a range of parameters in the identified set—when judges tend to disagree ex ante or their private information is imprecise—in which deliberation can be beneficial; otherwise, deliberation reduces the effectiveness of the court.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics and Econometrics