Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=421520
 
 

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Modeling Supreme Court Strategic Decision Making: The Congressional Constraint


Mario Bergara


Universidad de la Republica (University of Uruguay) - Department of Economics

Barak D. Richman


Duke University - School of Law

Pablo T. Spiller


University of California, Berkeley - Business & Public Policy Group



Abstract:     
This paper addresses the contradictory results obtained by Segal (1997) and Spiller & Gely (1992) concerning the impact of institutional constraints on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision making. By adapting the Spiller & Gely maximum likelihood model to the Segal dataset, we find support for the hypothesis that the Court adjusts its decisions to presidential and congressional preferences. Data from 1947 to 1992 indicate that the average probability of the Court being constrained has been approximately one-third. Further, we show that the results obtained by Segal are the product of biases introduced by a misspecified econometric model. We also discuss how our estimation highlights the usefulness of Krehbiel's model of legislative decision making.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 34

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Date posted: August 22, 2003  

Suggested Citation

Bergara, Mario and Richman, Barak D. and Spiller, Pablo T., Modeling Supreme Court Strategic Decision Making: The Congressional Constraint. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=421520 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.421520

Contact Information

Mario Bergara
Universidad de la Republica (University of Uruguay) - Department of Economics ( email )
Jose E. Rodo 1854
CP 11200 Montevideo, 11200
Uruguay
Barak D. Richman (Contact Author)
Duke University - School of Law ( email )
Box 90360
Duke School of Law
Durham, NC 27708
United States
919-613-7244 (Phone)
919-613-7231 (Fax)
Pablo T. Spiller
University of California, Berkeley - Business & Public Policy Group ( email )
545 Student Services Building
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States
510-642-1502 (Phone)
510-642-2826 (Fax)
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