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Legislative output and the Constitutional Court in Italy

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  • Michele Santoni

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  • Francesco Zucchini

Abstract

This paper considers the impact of the Constitutional Court on legislative output in Italy. Following Tsebelis’ ((2002) Veto Players: Foundations of Institutional Analysis. Princeton: Princeton University Press) veto players model and the stylised facts as regards the Italian Constitutional Court’s activity, this paper presents a multi-stage game in the spirit of Gely and Spiller ((1990). A rational choice theory of supreme court statutory decisions with applications to the state farm and grove city cases. Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 6, 263–300). In the first stage, the legislative veto players, namely the parties in government, choose whether to change or not the policy status quo by enacting new legislation. In the second stage, the Court makes a constitutional interpretation: it decides whether to alter or not the outcome of the first stage through a sentence of constitutional illegitimacy. The Court has both the power of annulling laws and a limited power of creating new legally binding norms. Moreover, in the third stage, a constitutional law voted by a parliamentary qualified majority can overturn the Court’s decisions. The model predicts that the presence of the Court lowers legislative policy change and tests this prediction with 1956–2001 annual time series data for Italy. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Michele Santoni & Francesco Zucchini, 2006. "Legislative output and the Constitutional Court in Italy," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 165-187, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:copoec:v:17:y:2006:i:3:p:165-187
    DOI: 10.1007/s10602-006-9003-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. George Tridimas & Takis Tridimas, 2002. "The European Court of Justice and the Annulment of the Tobacco Advertisement Directive: Friend of National Sovereignty or Foe of Public Health?," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 171-183, September.
    2. Gely, Rafael & Spiller, Pablo T., 1992. "The political economy of supreme court constitutional decisions: The case of Roosevelt's court-packing plan," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 45-67, March.
    3. Breton, Albert & Fraschini, Angela, 2003. "Vertical Competition in Unitary States: The Case of Italy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 114(1-2), pages 57-77, January.
    4. Neil R. Ericsson & James G. MacKinnon, 2002. "Distributions of error correction tests for cointegration," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 5(2), pages 285-318, June.
    5. Spiller, Pablo T & Spitzer, Matthew L, 1992. "Judicial Choice of Legal Doctrines," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 8-46, March.
    6. Gely, Rafael & Spiller, Pablo T, 1990. "A Rational Choice Theory of Supreme Court Statutory Decisions with Applications to the State Farm and Grove City Cases," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 263-300, Fall.
    7. Ferejohn, John A. & Weingast, Barry R., 1992. "A positive theory of statutory interpretation," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 263-279, June.
    8. repec:cup:apsrev:v:96:y:2002:i:02:p:291-303_00 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Veto players; Constitutional Court; Legislative output; Italy; D72;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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