Explaining Constitutional Change: The Case of Judicial Independence

40 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2013

See all articles by Bernd Hayo

Bernd Hayo

University of Marburg - School of Business & Economics

Stefan Voigt

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

Date Written: December 28, 2012

Abstract

This paper studies the factors driving changes in judicial independence (JI) as incorporated in constitutions. Two indicators of constitutionally safeguarded JI are constructed. Variations in these indicators are identified based on changes in the constitutions of as many as 100 countries that occurred between 1950 and 2005. Four groups of factors are conjectured to be relevant for explaining these changes. We find only weak evidence for the insurance theory of judicial independence but strong evidence that the characteristics of individual leaders — such as how they acquired or lost power — play an important role in explaining changes in constitutionally safeguarded JI. This paper contributes not only to the literature on JI but also to the theory of endogenous constitutions.

Keywords: judicial independence, constitutional change, endogenous constitutions, relevance of leaders

JEL Classification: H110, K100, P480

Suggested Citation

Hayo, Bernd and Voigt, Stefan, Explaining Constitutional Change: The Case of Judicial Independence (December 28, 2012). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 4032. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2195492

Bernd Hayo

University of Marburg - School of Business & Economics ( email )

Universitaetsstr. 24
Marburg, D-35032
Germany
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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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