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NCJ Number: NCJ 204010   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
Title: Study of the Determinants of Case Growth in U.S. Federal District Courts, Final Report
  Document URL: PDF 
  Dataset URL: DATASET 1
Author(s): William F. Shughart II ; Gokhan R. Karahan
Corporate Author: University of Mississippi
Dept of Economics
United States of America
Date Published: 07/2003
Page Count: 116
  Annotation: This study analyzed the determinants of the dramatic increase in the caseload of the U.S. Federal district courts that began in 1960.
Abstract: Using best-practice econometric techniques, the research obtained forecasts of future demands on the Federal courts that are more accurate than those previously available. Based on estimates of autoregressive time series models of civil and criminal cases, using annual data from 1904 to 1998 as well as several subperiods of these years, the research generated out-of-sample forecasts through 2020 that differed significantly from the forecasts of the Judicial Conference of the United States. The out-of-sample forecasts for 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002 were much closer to the number of case filings actually observed in those years than were the forecasts by the Judicial Conference of the United States; the estimates obtained in the current research deviated by only about 10,000 cases per year, on average, from the actual numbers. The study's second contribution was to specify and estimate multivariate econometric models of the determinants of civil case filings over time and across geographic areas by using panel data techniques. The study found that Federal civil case filings were influenced significantly by the socioeconomic characteristics of the relevant State, district, or circuit. Civil cases were positively related to per capita income, population density, the percentage of the population that is nonwhite, the unemployment rate, and the size of government. The importance of caseload management was reinforced by analyses of the impact of criminal cases on civil cases; holding constant the time between the filing and disposition of Federal criminal cases, civil cases were disposed of more expeditiously in districts where there were more authorized judgeships per capita. There was also evidence to support the hypothesis that the time series of civil and criminal cases and the time series of authorized Federal judgeships were not cointegrated. Thus, armed with the more accurate forecasts presented from this study, policymakers can be more confident in assessing the need for additional judgeships and can address what is apparently a more pressing problem, i.e., the possible misallocation of judgeships across circuits and districts. 42 references and extensive tables
Main Term(s): Court management
Index Term(s): Judges ; Federal courts ; Court case flow management ; Criminal proceedings ; Court case flow ; Civil proceedings ; NIJ final report
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 2000-IJ-CX-0042
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: Dataset may be archived by the NIJ Data Resources Program at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data
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