Large courts, small justice!: the inefficiency and the optimal structure of the Italian justice sector

Peyrache, Antonio and Zago, Angelo (2016) Large courts, small justice!: the inefficiency and the optimal structure of the Italian justice sector. Omega, 64 42-56. doi:10.1016/j.omega.2015.11.002


Author Peyrache, Antonio
Zago, Angelo
Title Large courts, small justice!: the inefficiency and the optimal structure of the Italian justice sector
Journal name Omega   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0305-0483
1873-5274
Publication date 2016-10-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.omega.2015.11.002
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 64
Start page 42
End page 56
Total pages 15
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon Press
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Abstract An important problem in the public sector, given the lack of output prices and exit decisions to sanction inefficient units, is finding the optimal industry structure. We apply a novel approach to Italian courts of justice, a typical example of a small sector in the public domain but with important effects on economic agents׳ behavior, firm size, FDI, and on the overall economy. The suggested approach enables us to break down the aggregate court inefficiency into different sources and to investigate the optimal structure of the justice sector. Results show that technical inefficiency (lack of best practice) accounts for more than one third (38%) of total inefficiency, while size inefficiency (courts that are too big) is about 22–25%. The remaining inefficiency is represented by a sub-optimal allocation of inputs (30–40%). If reallocation is confined to macroregional or regional borders, then technical and size inefficiencies increase in relative terms compared to reallocation inefficiency. We suggest that, together with reallocating inputs by merging smaller courts, a complementary set of policy interventions would be to adopt best practices and split larger courts.
Keyword Industry efficiency
Directional distance function
Size inefficiency
Break-up
Input reallocation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
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