Chancellor Martin & Professor Epstein Win APSA Lasting Contribution Award

Christina Boyd, Lee Epstein, and Andrew Martin’s “Untangling the Causal Effects of Sex on Judging” (American Journal of Political Science, 2010) explores the important question of the effect of diversity on the bench using novel statistical methods. In addition to shedding light on the debate about the relationship between sex and judicial outcomes, the matching technique used allows for tests of causality, creating a richer theoretical understanding of the role of diversity in a variety of forms and of decision-making on collegial courts. This work’s methodological and theoretical contributions have led it to be influential across the subfields. As one nominator adds, the authors have “pushed scholars to consider ideas advanced by multiple disciplinary traditions.” 

Although the article is well-cited with 748 citations at the time of committee deliberation, the contribution goes far beyond this impressive number. The committee was struck by the enduring impact of the piece, with over half of those citations coming in the past five years. We expect that number to continue to grow as popular and scholarly attention focuses on appellate panel decision-making and the role of identity in judging.