Publication:
Do Judges Favor Their Own Ethnicity and Gender?: Evidence from Kenya

Loading...
Thumbnail Image
Files in English
English PDF (3.05 MB)
512 downloads
English Text (185.51 KB)
44 downloads
Date
2022-03-07
ISSN
Published
2022-03-07
Abstract
Evidence from high-income countries suggests that judges often exhibit in-group bias, favoring litigants that share an identity with the judge. However, there is little evidence on this phenomenon from the Global South. Collecting the available universe of High Court decisions in Kenya, this paper leverages the random assignment of cases to judges to evaluate the existence of in-group bias along gender and ethnic lines. It finds that, relative to a baseline win rate of 43 percent, defendants are 4 percentage points more likely to win if they share the judge's gender and 5 percentage points more likely to win if they share the judge~^!!^s ethnicity. The paper finds that the written judgements are on average shorter and less likely to be cited when defendants who are of the same gender or ethnicity as the judge win their case. This is consistent with in-group biased decisions being of lower quality. In addition, the findings show that female defendants are less likely to win the case if the judge exhibits stereotypical or negative attitudes towards women in their writings.
Link to Data Set
Citation
Chen, Daniel Li; Graham, Jimmy; Ramos Maqueda, Manuel; Singh, Shashank. 2022. Do Judges Favor Their Own Ethnicity and Gender?: Evidence from Kenya. © Washington, DC: World Bank. http://hdl.handle.net/10986/37108 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
Report Series
Report Series
Other publications in this report series
  • Publication
    Infrastructure Complementarities and Local Economic Growth
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-05-24) Selod, Harris; Steinbuks, Jevgenijs; Trotter, Ian; Blankespoor, Brian
    This paper uses four decades of panel data on Brazilian municipalities to study the separate and joint impacts of highway and electricity infrastructure access on local economic outcomes. The identification strategy employs difference-in-difference estimators with staggered adoption design and several treatments. The results show strong contemporaneous effects of electrifying municipalities that already have access to a highway, whereas electrification or highway provision alone may, at best, have no effect. Infrastructure investments also facilitated long-lasting structural transformation effects, with both types of infrastructure access spurring growth of the industrial output share.
  • Publication
    Production Networks and Firm-level Elasticities of Substitution
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-05-23) Fujiy, Brian C.; Ghose, Devaki; Khanna, Gaurav
    This paper provides one of the first estimates of elasticities of substitution across suppliers within the same product. This paper estimates these elasticities using new real-time administrative tax data on firm-to-firm transactions, with product-level prices and quantities, leveraging geographic and temporal variation from India's Covid-19 lockdowns to derive causal estimates of these elasticities. Suppliers are highly complementary even at this granular level, with an estimated elasticity of $0.55$. The paper shows that the quality of institutions, input specificity, inventories, and time horizons explain the low elasticity. These firm-level complementarities amplify the propagation of negative shocks through production networks, and make connected firms important for shock propagation. In policy counterfactuals, the paper shows that given these complementarities, allowing more connected firms to operate in the face of shocks mitigates output declines non-linearly with the size of the productivity shock.
  • Publication
    Profiling Green Jobs and Workers in South Africa
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-05-21) Mosomi, Jacqueline; Cunningham, Wendy
    To adequately prepare the labor force for the green economy, policy makers and workers require a detailed understanding of the nature of green jobs. This study profiles green jobs in the South African labor market. It uses labor force survey data and applies an occupational task-based approach to identify current green occupations and associated jobs, count them, and profile their workers and wages. The findings show that 5.5 to 32 percent of South Africa’s jobs can be labeled as “green,” where the former estimate uses a strict definition and the latter uses a broad definition. The share of strictly green jobs has not changed over the past eight years. While 65 percent of strictly green occupations can be classified as high (skill) occupations, only 55 percent of workers are in these occupations, reflecting numerous employment opportunities in mid-level and elementary green occupations. Strictly green occupations tend to be male-dominated and held by prime-age (25–44) workers with post-secondary school. However, the profile of those in the greenest of the green occupations shows that they are older (age 45–65) workers and Black Africans with lower than completed high school education. Policies to prepare South Africans to engage in the green economy include developing a strategy to teach new and existing workers to use green technologies; targeting green occupations in youth development programs; making a concerted effort to support women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; helping low-skilled green workers to organize and improve their work conditions; and continuing to collect and analyze data for better tracking South Africa’s progress in becoming a green labor force.
  • Publication
    Place-Based Preferential Policies and Firm Performance
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-05-21) Galal, Rami
    Economic zone programs are generally pursued to improve firms' performance within discrete areas by removing the constraints firms face. Whether or not they succeed in doing so is an empirical question. This paper capitalizes on a unique survey of firms within and outside zones in South Asia to assess the effects of zone programs on firms’ performance in exports, investment, employment, and productivity. Adopting a propensity score matching approach and district-level fixed effects, the paper explores four questions: whether zones support firm performance; whether the type of zone makes a difference, which kinds of public support services matter more, and whether firms inside zones grow faster. The results show that (i) being inside a zone positively affects foreign direct investment and employment, (ii) the effects across zone types are mixed, (iii) infrastructure and trade facilitation play a greater role in firm performance than fiscal incentives and governance facilities, and (iv) firms inside zones grow faster.
  • Publication
    Economic Consequences of Cabotage Restrictions
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-05-21) Hillberry, Russell; Jimenez, Manuel I.
    This paper studies the consequences of a U.S. cabotage law for Puerto Rico (PR). Data on ship arrivals in PR show that the fleet of U.S. vessels that call there lacks capacity for carrying non-containerized freight. Empirical estimation using trade data shows that PR’s imports of sea-shipped final products are biased against U.S. mainland sources. This bias is strongest for heavy products and products not typically shipped in containers. Among upstream products, a strong bias against imports of sea-shipped products applies to all sources. Estimated tariff-equivalent costs among final products imply static annual welfare losses of 1.1 percent of household consumption ($203 per person). The same tariff-equivalent cost estimates imply that the law raises the cost of investment in PR by 3.0 percent. The observed bias against sea-shipped inputs in PR’s imports may result from long-run industry location decisions that have been influenced by the law's presence.
Journal
Journal Volume
Journal Issue
Associated URLs
Associated content
Citations