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How to Measure the Rule of Law

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  • Stefan Voigt

    ()
    (Philipps-University Marburg)

Abstract

I argue that the rule of law consists of many dimensions and that much information is lost when variables proxying for these dimensions are simply aggregated. I draw on the most important innovations from various legal traditions to propose a concept of the rule of law likely to find general support. To make the concept measurable, an ideal approach is contrasted with a pragmatic one. The pragmatic approach consists of eight different dimensions. I show that the bivariate correlations between them are usually very low, evidence that more fine-grained indicators of the rule of law, rather than a single hard-to-interpret one, are necessary for its measurement. The paper presents a list of desirable variables that could improve the measurement of various aspects of the rule of law.

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File URL: http://www.uni-marburg.de/fb02/makro/forschung/magkspapers/38-2009_voigt.pdf
File Function: First version, 2009
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung) in its series MAGKS Papers on Economics with number 200938.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in
Handle: RePEc:mar:magkse:200938

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Related research

Keywords: Rule of Law; Institutions; Governance; Measurement; Formal vs. Informal Institutions;

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Cited by:
  1. Christian Bjørnskov & Jacob Mchangama, 2013. "Do Social Rights Affect Social Outcomes?," Economics Working Papers 2013-18, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.

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