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Political Science and Political Economy Research Seminar

Trading Diversity? Judicial Diversity and Case Outcomes in Federal Courts

Ryan Hubert (University of California), joint with Ryan Copus and Paige Pellaton

Tuesday 26 September 2023 14:00 - 15:30

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as in person or as hybrid (online and in person) events. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, in-person seminars are open to the public.

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom if the event is hybrid.


About this event

Are federal lawsuits resolved differently based on the race or gender of the judges assigned to hear them? Recent empirical research posits that women and judges of color decide cases more liberally, at least in some identity salient areas of law. However, these studies analyze small numbers of cases and judges, and use research designs that limit their causal interpretations. Using an original dataset of all civil rights cases filed in 20 federal district courts over multiple decades and a strong causal identification strategy, we find that assignment of cases to judges of color or women has no statistically significant effect on case outcomes among Democratic appointees. However, it causes more conservative outcomes among Republican appointees. We explain these results with a theory of bargaining over judicial appointments in which Republican presidents take advantage of Democrats' preference for diversity on the bench to appoint more conservative judges.

The Political Science and Political Economy (PSPE) research group at the LSE brings together faculty and PhD students who do quantitative and/or formal research on political institutions, political behaviour, public policy, and political economy.

The PSPE Research Seminar provides a venue for researchers (mostly from outside of the LSE) to present their work.

These seminars are held on Tuesdays in term time at 14.00-15.30, both ONLINE AND IN PERSON in room SAL 3.05, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar coordinator: Mathilde Emeriau

Contact gov.comms@lse.ac.uk to be added to the mailing list and to recieve the zoom link.

For further information please contact Maddie Giles: gov.comms@lse.ac.uk.