IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v94y2004i3p712-729.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Is There a Politically Optimal Level of Judicial Independence?

Author

Listed:
  • F. Andrew Hanssen

Abstract

Independent courts render current policy more durable (by raising the cost of future policy changes) but may also engage in policy-making of their own. This paper asks: Is there an optimal level of judicial independence from the perspective of incumbent officials in the other branches? To answer that question, the paper develops a model of strategic institutional choice, and tests it on the judicial institutions of the American states. Consistent with the model's predictions, the most independenceenhancing institutions are found where political competition between rival parties is tightest and differences between party platforms are largest.

Suggested Citation

  • F. Andrew Hanssen, 2004. "Is There a Politically Optimal Level of Judicial Independence?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 712-729, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:94:y:2004:i:3:p:712-729
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/0002828041464470
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/0002828041464470
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Easterly, William & Kurlat, Sergio & Wacziarg, Romain, 2003. "Fractionalization," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 155-194, June.
    2. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 2003. "Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 7-73, March.
    3. Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 37-49, March.
    4. Fleck, Robert K & Kilby, Christopher, 2002. "Reassessing the Role of Constituency in Congressional Voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 112(1-2), pages 31-53, July.
    5. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    6. Hanssen F. Andrew, 1999. "Appointed Courts, Elected Courts, and Public Utility Regulation: Judicial Independence and the Energy Crisis," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(2), pages 179-252, August.
    7. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2000. "Tropical Underdevelopment," CID Working Papers 57, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    8. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
    9. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1034-1054, September.
    10. Ramseyer, J Mark, 1994. "The Puzzling (In)dependence of Courts: A Comparative Approach," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 721-747, June.
    11. Tabarrok, Alexander & Helland, Eric, 1999. "Court Politics: The Political Economy of Tort Awards," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(1), pages 157-188, April.
    12. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1998. "Sources of Inefficiency in a Representative Democracy: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 139-156, March.
    13. repec:cup:apsrev:v:87:y:1993:i:04:p:955-962_10 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Landes, William M & Posner, Richard A, 1975. "The Independent Judiciary in an Interest-Group Perspective," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 875-901, December.
    15. Gary Chamberlain, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 225-238.
    16. Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 1995. "The Disadvantage of Tying Their Hands: On the Political Economy of Policy Commitments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(433), pages 1381-1402, November.
    17. Levy, Brian & Spiller, Pablo T, 1994. "The Institutional Foundations of Regulatory Commitment: A Comparative Analysis of Telecommunications Regulation," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 201-246, October.
    18. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 403-414.
    19. Pablo T. Spiller & Ingo Vogelsang, 1997. "The Institutional Foundations of Regulatory Commitment in the UK: The Case of Telecommunications," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 153(4), pages 607-607, December.
    20. Yoram Barzel, 2000. "Property rights and the evolution of the state," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 25-51, March.
    21. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2000. "Tropical Underdevelopment," CID Working Papers 57A, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
    1. Is There a Politically Optimal Level of Judicial Independence? (AER 2004) in ReplicationWiki

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:94:y:2004:i:3:p:712-729. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael P. Albert). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.