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Do judges favor their own ethnicity and gender: Evidence from Kenya

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Evidence from high-income countries suggests that judges often exhibit in-group bias, favoring litigants that share an identity with the judge. However, there is little evidence on this phenomenon from the Global South. This paper examines the extent of in-group bias along gender and ethnic lines in the Kenyan judiciary.We find that judges display both gender and ethnic in-group bias towards defendants. In contrast, we do not observe a clear in-group bias trend towards plaintiffs; the in-group effects are null, consistent with the defendant starting in a defensive position and suspected of doing wrong, which triggers in-group bias.

 

 

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