The Impact of Experience on How We Perceive the Rule of Law

Journal of Institutional Economics, 2020, 16(3), 251–69

40 Pages Posted: 30 Dec 2019 Last revised: 6 Feb 2024

See all articles by Benito Arruñada

Benito Arruñada

Pompeu Fabra University - Department of Economics and Business; Barcelona GSE

Date Written: November 29, 2019

Abstract

Experience is a major source of knowledge. Could institutions be improved by eliciting the additional knowledge held by experienced individuals? I show here that in several areas of the law experienced individuals are more critical of institutional quality than inexperienced individuals. Moreover, performance indexes built with experienced subsamples substantially alter country rankings. Assuming no unmeasured confounders, more knowledge arguably leads experienced individuals to revise the more benign view held by the general population, composed mostly of inexperienced individuals. Moreover, experience is a stronger driver than alternative sources of knowledge, including education, which might therefore be reinforcing milder and, arguably, incorrect assessments of institutional quality. After observing how this “experience effect” varies systematically across countries, I conclude by proposing that evaluations of institutional quality pay greater attention to experienced individuals and cautioning against basing inferences on assessments made by the general population.

Keywords: institutions, experience, knowledge, perception, rule of law, measurement

JEL Classification: D02, D71, D83, K12, K14, K31, K32, K41, K42

Suggested Citation

Arruñada, Benito, The Impact of Experience on How We Perceive the Rule of Law (November 29, 2019). Journal of Institutional Economics, 2020, 16(3), 251–69, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3495648 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3495648

Benito Arruñada (Contact Author)

Pompeu Fabra University - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
Department of Economics and Business
Barcelona, 08005
Spain
+34 93 542 25 72 (Phone)
+34 93 542 17 46 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.upf.edu/~arrunada

Barcelona GSE ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, Barcelona 08005
Spain

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