Chilton, Masur, and Rozema on How Political Preferences Influence Law Review Selections

Does ideology influence editors' law review picks? Study finds a correlation

Editors choosing law review articles are influenced by shared ideology with the authors, according to a working paper by three University of Chicago law professors.

The professors matched the ideologies of authors and editors at 15 top law reviews over a 20-year period by looking at their political donations. More than half of the editors and authors had made political donations between the years of 1979 and 2016.

The paper found “strong evidence” that the article selection process is driven partly by the shared political ideologies between authors and editors. “So when law reviews have more conservative editors, they publish more conservative articles,” explains one of the study authors, University of Chicago law professor Adam Chilton.

A single percentage point increase in the number of conservative editors on a board can increase the percentage of articles by authors of the same political persuasion by 0.34 percent, according to the article, available at SSRN. The same holds true when there is a single percentage point increase in the number of liberal editors.

The impact can be large, say Chilton and his study co-authors, University of Chicago law professors Jonathan Masur and Kyle Rozema.

Read more at ABA Journal