Dominik Hangartner, Benjamin E Lauderdale, Judith Spirig, “Refugee Roulette Revisited: Judicial Preference Variation and Aggregation on the Swiss Federal Administrative Court 2007-2012”

 download pdf

If you want to cite the paper, please check with me first. Thanks.

Recent studies of asylum adjudication in several Western countries have found sizeable disparities between individual adjudicators. We contribute to this literature by exploiting a natural experiment from Switzerland, where all asylum appeals are handled by the Federal Administrative Court. Several features of the Swiss asylum appeal process conspire to offer an unusual opportunity to examine judges’ revealed preferences and how they correlate with their party affiliation. First, the asylum cases have a common, uni-dimensional structure, as all decisions typically involve the appeal of an initial asylum decision. Second, the cases are assigned at random (conditional on language) to panels of judges, each of whom has a known party affiliation. As a result, we can test which of several decision- and game-theoretic theories of group decision-making seem to best fit the panel decisions as well as inferring the judges’ individual preferences. We show that inconsistencies in decision-making due to panel composition were substantially reduced between 2007 and 2012, primarily because judges affiliated with the most liberal party converged towards the rest of the court.


« Under-performing, Over-performing, or Just Performing? The Limitations of Fundamentals-based Presidential Election Forecasting | Publications List | The Effects of Panel Assignment on the US Court of Appeals in Death Penalty Cases »

About

I am an Associate Professor of Social Research Methods at the London School of Economics and Political Science. From 2016-2019, I am an Associate Editor of the American Political Science Review. My research is focused on the measurement of political preferences from survey, voting, network and text data. Applications of these methods have included citizens, legislators and judges in the US, UK and EU.

Curriculum Vitae pdf

Subscribe

To receive updates from this site, you can subscribe to the RSS feed of all updates to the site in an RSS feed reader

Search