Institutional Hysterisis: Courts and Politics in the American States (Chapters 5&6 of a Book Project)
93 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2009
Date Written: June 25, 2009
These chapters document that civil law origins in the American States have had a persistent influence on the interactions between state courts and state legislatures during the twentieth century. One important philosophical difference between civil-law and common-law legal systems arises from differences in their beliefs regarding the appropriate degree of judicial independence. We document that legislatures in civil law states have been relatively slow in granting their judges independence during 1912-2000. Then, using data during 1960-2000, we show that civil law legislatures tend to cut judicial budgets when their judges become more independent. This legislative behavior is consistent with the predictions of a model that we build where legislatures have preferences for a weak or strong judiciary. Our results are consistent with previous chapters of this book which show that the political culture in state legislatures is slow-moving.
Keywords: legal origins, judicial retention, judicial independence, panel estimation
JEL Classification: N9, O5, P1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation