Substitutable Protections: Socioeconomic Insulation and Credible Commitment Devices

33 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2006

See all articles by Jeffrey K. Staton

Jeffrey K. Staton

Emory University - Department of Political Science; University of Gothenburg - V-Dem Institute

Christopher M. Reenock

Florida State University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: October 15, 2006

Abstract

Do beliefs in the credibility of institutions designed to constrain the state from violating rights affect the behavior of all individuals equally? We argue that the effect depends on how insulated an individual is from rights violations. We test this argument against individual-level data on democratic regime support, confidence in legal institutions and a socioeconomic factor that protects a person from physical integrity violations. Consistent with our substitution argument, the effect of institutional confidence on democratic support decreases as insulation increases; and, the effect of insulation decreases as institutional confidence increases. This analysis suggests that commitment models overestimate and underestimate institutional effects when they fail to account for insulation.

Keywords: Credible Commitment, Judicial Trust

Suggested Citation

Staton, Jeffrey K. and Reenock, Christopher M., Substitutable Protections: Socioeconomic Insulation and Credible Commitment Devices (October 15, 2006). 1st Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=913428 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.913428

Jeffrey K. Staton (Contact Author)

Emory University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
404-727-6559 (Phone)
404-727-4586 (Fax)

University of Gothenburg - V-Dem Institute ( email )

United States

Christopher M. Reenock

Florida State University - Department of Political Science ( email )

567 Bellmy Building
Tallahassee, FL 32306
United States
850-644-4542 (Phone)
850-644-1367 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://mailer.fsu.edu/~creenock/

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