The value of information in the court: Get it right, keep it tight

Matias Iaryczower, Matthew Shum

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


We estimate an equilibrium model of decision making in the US Supreme Court that takes into account both private information and ideological differences between justices. We measure the value of information in the court by the probability that a justice votes differently from how she would have voted without case-specific information. Our results suggest a sizable value of information: in 44 percent of cases, justices' initial leanings are changed by their personal assessments of the case. Our results also confirm the increased politicization of the Supreme Court in the last quarter century. Counterfactual simulations provide implications for institutional design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-237
Number of pages36
JournalAmerican Economic Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics


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