Abstract

Can procedural reforms improve judicial efficiency? And do improvements in judicial efficiency benefit firms? We combine the staggered roll-out of a reform that required judges in Senegal to complete pre-trials within four months with high-frequency caseload data and firm tax filings. The reform improved judicial efficiency, with no effect on quality. Firm monthly revenues drop by 8-11 percent upon entering pre-trial, and decline by on average 3.2-5.0 percent for every 100 days a case spends in pre-trial. Survey results show firms are willing to pay higher legal fees to achieve post-reform speed, suggesting positive benefits of the reform on firms.

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