Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1434234
 
 

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Unpacking the Rule of Law: A Review of Judicial Independence Measures


Julio Rios-Figueroa


CIDE - Department of Politics; Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE)

Jeffrey K. Staton


Department of Political Science - Emory University

April 26, 2009

CELS 2009 4th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper

Abstract:     
The rule of law has become a favored solution to crucial substantive problems in the social sciences. Measures of the concept have proliferated over the past decade, yet scholars commonly question their validity. We argue that measurement validity concerns are largely a result of disagreement over the concept being targeted. We suggest that the broad, multidimensional concept of the rule of law should not guide empirical research, even if the individual concepts from which it is constituted should. Focusing on judicial independence, a central component of the rule of law, we evaluate the validity of thirteen measures. We find support for the validity of a number of de facto measures of judicial independence, and less support for de jure judicial independence measures. Critically, we highlight a significant missing data problem in these data and suggest how this problem is compounded by common practices used to demonstrate robustness.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 48

Keywords: rule of law, judicial independence, measurement

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Date posted: July 16, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Rios-Figueroa, Julio and Staton, Jeffrey K., Unpacking the Rule of Law: A Review of Judicial Independence Measures (April 26, 2009). CELS 2009 4th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1434234 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1434234

Contact Information

Julio Rios-Figueroa
CIDE - Department of Politics ( email )
Carretera Mexico-Toluca 3655
Col. Lomas de Santa Fe
Mexico DF, 01210
Mexico
HOME PAGE: http://homepages.nyu.edu/~jrf246/
Center for Research and Teaching of Economics (CIDE) ( email )
Mexico DF
Mexico
Jeffrey K. Staton (Contact Author)
Department of Political Science - Emory University ( email )
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
404-727-6559 (Phone)
404-727-4586 (Fax)
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