Explaining De Facto Judicial Independence

29 Pages Posted: 11 May 2006

See all articles by Stefan Voigt

Stefan Voigt

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

Bernd Hayo

University of Marburg - School of Business & Economics

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Abstract

A high degree of de facto judicial independence (JI) functions as a crucial precondition of governments to credibly commit to legislative decisions, such as respecting private property rights. Thus, de facto JI should improve the allocative efficiency and may therefore contribute positively to economic growth. But JI as formally written down in legal texts is an imperfect predictor for de facto JI. This paper tries to identify the forces which determine de facto JI. A distinction between factors that can be influenced in the short run and those that are the result of historical development and that are exempt from short-term modification is made. Ascertaining the relative relevance of these two groups of variables promises to be policy-relevant. A rigorous empirical model reduction process is used in order to cope with the potential excess of explanatory variables. The explanatory variables for de facto JI that survive the reduction process are de jure JI, legal confidence of the public, extent of democratization, degree of press freedom, and the religious beliefs of the population.

Keywords: Judicial independence, informal institutions, formal institutions

JEL Classification: D72, D78, H11, K42

Suggested Citation

Voigt, Stefan and Hayo, Bernd, Explaining De Facto Judicial Independence. International Review of Law and Economics, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=900336

Stefan Voigt (Contact Author)

University of Hamburg - Institute of Law & Economics ( email )

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CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Bernd Hayo

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

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Marburg, D-35032
Germany
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++49(0)6421-28-23193 (Fax)

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