Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2319363
 


 



Why Do Countries Adopt Constitutional Review?


Tom Ginsburg


University of Chicago Law School

Mila Versteeg


University of Virginia School of Law

September 2, 2013

Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Forthcoming
Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2013-29

Abstract:     
In recent decades, there has been a wide-ranging global movement towards constitutional review. This development poses important puzzles of political economy: Why would self-interested governments willingly constrain themselves by constitutional means? What explains the global shift towards judicial supremacy? Though different theories have been proposed, none have been systematically tested against each other using quantitative empirical methods. In this paper we utilize a unique new dataset on constitutional review for 204 countries for the period 1781-2011 to test various theories that explain the adoption of constitutional review. Using a fixed effects spatial lag model, we find substantial evidence that the adoption of constitutional review is driven by domestic electoral politics. By contrast, we find no general evidence that constitutional review adoption results from ideational factors, federalism, or international norm diffusion.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 51

Keywords: constitutional review, political insurance, diffusion

JEL Classification: K00, K19, K49

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Date posted: September 2, 2013 ; Last revised: October 16, 2013

Suggested Citation

Ginsburg, Tom and Versteeg, Mila, Why Do Countries Adopt Constitutional Review? (September 2, 2013). Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Forthcoming; Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2013-29. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2319363

Contact Information

Tom Ginsburg
University of Chicago Law School ( email )
1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
Mila Versteeg (Contact Author)
University of Virginia School of Law ( email )
580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

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