Independent Courts and Administrative Agencies: An Empirical Analysis of the States

38 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2005

See all articles by F. Andrew Hanssen

F. Andrew Hanssen

Clemson University - John E. Walker Department of Economics

Abstract

This article explores the hypothesis that state administrative agencies spend more time and effort attempting to protect their actions from judicial review in states with more independent appointed courts (as opposed to less independent elected courts). This is because more independent courts are (by definition) less influenced by the political/electoral forces that underlie agency - policymaking - as rational actors, agencies may therefore be expected to recognize the degree of judicial independence and respond to it. Three state agencies subject to substantial judicial review in the 1970s are examined: utility commissions, insurance commissions, and the public education bureaucracy. Controlling for relevant political factors, each is found to have significantly larger staffing for a given regulatory workload in states with more independent appointed courts, consistent with the hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

Hanssen, F., Independent Courts and Administrative Agencies: An Empirical Analysis of the States. Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Vol. 16, pp. 534-571, 2000, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=832263

F. Hanssen (Contact Author)

Clemson University - John E. Walker Department of Economics ( email )

Clemson, SC 29634
United States

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