Measuring the gains from labor specialization

Decio Coviello, Andrea Ichino, Nicola Persico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We estimate the productivity effects of labor specialization using a judicial environment that offers a quasi-experimental setting well suited to this purpose. Judges in this environment are randomly assigned many different types of cases. This assignment generates random streaks of same-type cases, which creates minispecialization events unrelated to the characteristics of judges or cases. We estimate that when judges receive more cases of a certain type, they become faster, that is, more likely to close cases of that type in any one of the corresponding hearings. Quality, as measured by probability of an appeal, is not negatively affected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-426
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Law and Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Law


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