Confidence in the Judicial System: Evidence from Brazil
19 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2014
Date Written: July 22, 2014
One issue that affects the economic and social development of a country is the ability of the judiciary to present itself as a legitimate instance in resolving conflicts that arise in the social, business and economic development. One way to measure this is through legitimacy of the motivations that lead citizens to trust or not in the Judiciary. We created the Brazilian Confidence in Justice Index (BCJI) as a validation argument for our confidence measure. The BCJI is a measure of perception, which shows the opinion of the population about Brazil’s judiciary. Our results indicate that race and gender are important predictors once controlled for other characteristics of respondents. Blacks have a slightly lower level of confidence in the judiciary than whites. Women also present less confidence than men. We also show that people with low income have lower levels of trust. Our findings also have other important implications for confidence in the judicial system. We show that there is a positive and strong relationship between confidence in the judicial system and propensity to seek the judiciary. This result indicates that although judiciary has lower levels of trust for a pool of demographic and economic variables, most Brazilians perceive it as a legitimate way to seek solution to their problems and would not hesitate to go to court to resolve conflicts of their daily lives.
Keywords: Confidence in the judicial System, Institutions, Judiciary
JEL Classification: K11, K30, K40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation