Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



judges, reputation, institutional analysis, courts


Nuno Garoupa and Tom Ginsburg have published an ambitious book that seeks to account for the great diversity of judicial systems based, in part, on how courts are designed to marshal the power of a high public opinion of the judiciary. Judges, the book posits, care deeply about their reputations both inside and outside the courts. Courts are designed to capitalize on judges’ desire to maximize their reputation, and judges’ existing stock of reputation can affect the design of the courts which they serve. We find much to like in this book, ranging from its intriguing and ambitious positive claims to its masterful use of comparative case studies from around the globe. However, we also have questions about the ability of the theory to hang together in a unified manner and to do the work assigned to it.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Judges, Judicial process, Courts