Policy reforms and productivity change in the judiciary system: A cost function approach applied to time series of the Dutch judiciary system between 1980 and 2016

Jos L.T. Blank, Alex A.S. van Heezik

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Abstract

The judiciary is constantly undergoing change in order to respond to a wide range of social developments that have brought the sector under increasing pressure. In order to deal with the constant call for enhancing budgets, different policy measures have been taken to downsize the appeal to the judiciary and to improve productivity. One of the central questions hereby is whether these measures have actually contributed to a more productive sector. This paper focuses on the development of productivity in the judiciary and how policy measures have affected productivity. In this empirical analysis, we apply a cost function model to time series data of the Dutch judiciary between 1980 and 2016. The results show a dramatic decline of productivity over the entire period (−50%), in spite of various policy measures. The year 2001 can be regarded as a turning point, as since then productivity has remained more or less stable. It seems that this is largely due to the establishment of the Council for the Judiciary and the associated increase in (financial and operational) autonomy for the judiciary. Another striking result is that technical change is biased toward using more personnel through time.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Transactions in Operational Research
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • cost model
  • judiciary
  • policy reforms
  • productivity change
  • time series

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