How to Measure the Rule of Law

23 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2012

See all articles by Stefan Voigt

Stefan Voigt

University of Hamburg - Institute of Law & Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2012

Abstract

I argue that the rule of law consists of many dimensions and that much information is lost when variables proxying for these dimensions are simply aggregated. I draw on the most important innovations from various legal traditions to propose a concept of the rule of law likely to find general support. To make the concept measurable, an ideal approach is contrasted with a pragmatic one. The pragmatic approach consists of eight different dimensions. I show that the bivariate correlations between them are usually very low, evidence that more fine‐grained indicators of the rule of law, rather than a single hard‐to‐interpret one, are necessary for its measurement. The paper presents a list of desirable variables that could improve the measurement of various aspects of the rule of law.

Suggested Citation

Voigt, Stefan, How to Measure the Rule of Law (May 2012). Kyklos, Vol. 65, Issue 2, pp. 262-284, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2043467 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6435.2012.00538.x

Stefan Voigt (Contact Author)

University of Hamburg - Institute of Law & Economics ( email )

Johnsallee 35
Hamburg, 20148
Germany
+49-40-428385782 (Phone)
+49-40-428386794 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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