Substitutable Protections: Socioeconomic Insulation and Credible Commitment Devices
33 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2006
Date Written: October 15, 2006
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: Suggested Citation