Confidence in the Judicial System and Court Experience: Evidence from Brazil
19 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2014
Date Written: July 22, 2014
Although there is a literature that relates the determinants of confidence in the judicial system and utilization of the judiciary, there is a gap on the causal relationship between these two variables. The purpose of this paper is to examine the causal relationship between confidence in the judicial system and utilization of the judiciary in Brazil. To address this issue, we construct measures of the extent to which the main newspapers report government corruption in their front page during the period 2010-2013 distributed by the states: Minas Gerais, Pernambuco, Rio Grande do Sul, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Distrito Federal. By examining how confidence in the judicial system affects the utilization of the judiciary, we used instrumental variable approach: IV Probit. We used the news of corruption (front page coverage of corruption) as instrumental variable. Confidence in the judicial system is the variable instrumentalized. Our results are based on four surveys conducted along 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. We created the Brazilian Confidence in Justice Index (BCJI) as a validity argument for our confidence measure. Our results evidence that confidence in the judicial system has a positive impact on utilization of the judiciary. People who have higher levels of confidence in the judicial system have a greater propensity to seek the judiciary. We also found that there is a positive relationship between confidence in the judicial system and utilization of the judiciary for some demographic variables such as income, education, age and race.
Keywords: Confidence, Judicial System, Institutions, Judiciary
JEL Classification: K11, K30, K40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation