This paper analyzes the careers of 230 professional judges in the German labor court system. Judges who are promoted early for the first time – “fast starters” – are more likely to be promoted for the second time. Fast starters, however, do not achieve a second promotion earlier – there is no evidence of a fast career track. Furthermore, judges who publish scientific books or papers are more likely to be promoted for the second time. Hence, careers neither are random nor do they follow bureaucratic criteria such as seniority. They can be understood as the outcome of a succession of tournaments for promotion that sustains career prospects both for “fast starters” and for “late bloomers”. Implications for judicial incentives and the quality of matching of judges with judicial offices are inferred.
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited