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"Efficient courts? A frontier performance assessment"

"Efficient courts? A frontier performance assessment" Investigadores: Gustavo Ferro, Carlos A. Romero, Exequiel Romero-Gómez Abstract: PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to build performance indicators to assess efficiency for First Instance Federal Courts in Argentina and study the determinants of efficiency in Criminal Instruction Courts. Design/methodology/approachThe efficiency scores were determined using data envelopment analysis with a database for the period 2006–2010. Then, a search of the efficiency determinants in the Criminal Instruction Courts was performed. Four output-oriented models were developed based on various explanatory and environmental variables. FindingsWorkload is an environmental variable that significantly increased the average levels of efficiency. When analyzing explanatory factors of the efficiency levels of the Criminal Instruction Courts, surrogate judges and temporary staff are more efficient on average than tenured judges and staff. Research limitations/implicationsThe method chosen permits flexibility in the analysis. Future research would be interesting to develop the underlying economic model using econometric methods. Practical implicationsThis paper’s contribution is twofold: first, to estimate the relative efficiency for all First Instance Federal Courts in every jurisdiction; and second, to explain the differences in efficiency in the Criminal Instruction Courts. Social implicationsThis study has the potential to greatly impact the discussion of how to structure judicial procedures (from the benchmarking between different branches of Federal justice) and in the design of incentives in a judicial career (e.g. tenured vs temporary judges and clerical employees, the role of seniority of judges and clerical employees and the impact of gender in performance). Originality/valueTo the authors’ knowledge, this paper is the first scholarly article to measure efficiency in Argentine justice system using mathematical programming and econometric methods. It has academic interest since it advances on the comprehension of the underlying production function of justice service provision. The paper also has social and practical implications since it permits contributing to the institutional design and opens the discussion for further sequels with other methods and complementary purposes. Keywords:Benchmarking, Data envelopment analysis, Efficiency, Courts Gustavo Ferro, Carlos A. Romero, Exequiel Romero-Gómez, (2018) "Efficient courts? A frontier performance assessment", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 25 Issue: 9, pp.3443-3458, 

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