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Trust in judicial institutions: an empirical approach




This paper investigates the relationship between judicial resources and individuals’ trust in the justice system. We argue that the justice budget is likely to have a positive and significant impact on individuals’ trust in justice, thanks to its role as a signal when individuals face uncertainty regarding the judicial environment. We test this hypothesis empirically using three different budget-related variables: the justice budget per incoming case, the number of magistrates and the intensity of legal aid. Across our three regressions, we find a positive and significant correlation between judicial resources and individuals’ declared trust in the justice system. This positive relationship is robust to the introduction of socio-demographic, cultural, institutional and economic control variables. We finally offer empirical support to the intuition that the effect of the justice budget on trust in justice is likely to be greater when individuals are more satisfied with the level of democracy in their country.

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  • Roussey, Ludivine & Deffains, Bruno, 2012. "Trust in judicial institutions: an empirical approach," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(03), pages 351-369, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jinsec:v:8:y:2012:i:03:p:351-369_00

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