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The European Court of Justice as an Engine of Economic Integration: Reconsidering Evidence that the ECJ has Expanded Economic Exchange in Europe


Matthew Gabel


Washington University in Saint Louis

Clifford Carrubba


Emory University - Department of Political Science

August 5, 2009

CELS 2009 4th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper

Abstract:     
Membership in the European Union involves a commitment to economic liberalization regarding the movement of goods, services, capital, and labor. But what the treaty articles and secondary legislation mean in practice - particularly when brought into conflict with national laws, depends on judicial interpretation by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Stone Sweet and his collaborators (Stone Sweet 2004; Stone Sweet and Brunell 1999; Fligstein and Stone Sweet 2002; Stone Sweet and Caporaso 1998) argue that the European Court of Justice's rulings have played an important role in completing the internal market through market liberalizing rulings. Specifically, they argue that the increased use of the preliminary reference procedure over time provided the ECJ with greater opportunities to rule on the validity of national barriers to free movement and this in turn produced increasing exchange of goods among the member states. I test this proposition with a novel dataset. The results indicate that, on average, market liberalizing rulings on preliminary references system. Moreover, this effect is not among the EU member states.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 23

Keywords: European Court of Justice, Trade Economy

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Date posted: August 6, 2009 ; Last revised: October 2, 2009

Suggested Citation

Gabel, Matthew and Carrubba, Clifford, The European Court of Justice as an Engine of Economic Integration: Reconsidering Evidence that the ECJ has Expanded Economic Exchange in Europe (August 5, 2009). CELS 2009 4th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1444500 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1444500

Contact Information

Matthew Gabel
Washington University in Saint Louis ( email )
Campus Box 1133
One Brookings Drive
Saint Louis, MO 63130-4899
United States
Clifford Carrubba (Contact Author)
Emory University - Department of Political Science ( email )
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
404-727-7915 (Phone)
404-727-4586 (Fax)
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