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Rewarding judicial independence: Evidence from the Italian Constitutional Court

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  • Fiorino, Nadia
  • Gavoille, Nicolas
  • Padovano, Fabio

Abstract

We use data about the Italian Constitutional Court (1956–2006) to verify an implication of the “revisionist” explanation of judicial independence related to judicial appointments, namely that elected politicians reward more independent justices with appointments to politically controlled posts after their Court tenure expires. In this respect, the Court tenure serves as a screening device for politicians to ascertain the justices’ personal independence. The empirical strategy is two-step. First, we estimate a logit fixed-effect model to evaluate the personal degree of independence for each justice reporter. This “justice-effect” is based on the proneness of a justice to declare the constitutional illegitimacy of a law controlling for the environmental conditional phenomena. Second, we verify to what extent this degree of independence affects the probability of obtaining a politically controlled post after the end of the mandate at the Court. Our results, obtained by a variety of estimators to check their robustness, strongly support the revisionist view.

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  • Fiorino, Nadia & Gavoille, Nicolas & Padovano, Fabio, 2015. "Rewarding judicial independence: Evidence from the Italian Constitutional Court," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 56-66.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:43:y:2015:i:c:p:56-66
    DOI: 10.1016/j.irle.2015.05.002
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    Cited by:

    1. Jarosław Kantorowicz & Nuno Garoupa, 2016. "An empirical analysis of constitutional review voting in the polish constitutional tribunal, 2003–2014," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 66-92, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Judicial independence; Revisionist view; Post-Court political appointments;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government

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