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Learning About Judicial Independence: Institutional Change In The State Courts

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  • Andrew Hanssen

    (Montana State University)

Abstract

There is widespread agreement that an independent judiciary is crucial to the growth of a nation. Yet systematic analysis of the development of independent courts is difficult, because, typically, formal judicial institutions seldom change. Here, I examine a formal judicial institution with substantial cross-sectional and time-series variation to explore: the procedure used to select and retain judges in the American states. Five different procedures emerged over the nation’s history, and all are in use today. I conclude as follows: Each new procedure was developed in order to increase the independence of state judges and was then superseded by a newer procedure, owing in large part to unanticipated agency problems. However, not all states changed procedures when the opportunity arose. States with larger legislative majorities, earlier entrance to the Union, or constitutional amendment requirements were less likely to adopt new procedures.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Hanssen, "undated". "Learning About Judicial Independence: Institutional Change In The State Courts," American Law & Economics Association Annual Meetings 1009, American Law & Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:bep:alecam:1009
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    File URL: http://law.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1009&context=alea
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Edward Glaeser & Simon Johnson & Andrei Shleifer, 2001. "Coase Versus the Coasians," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 853-899.
    2. 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.
    3. Elder, Harold W., 1987. "Property rights structures and criminal courts: An analysis of state criminal courts," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 21-32, June.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. McMillan, John & Woodruff, Christopher, 1999. "Dispute Prevention without Courts in Vietnam," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 637-658, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Berkowitz & Karen Clay, "undated". "Initial Conditions, Institutional Dynamics and Economic Performance: Evidence from the American States," American Law & Economics Association Annual Meetings 1083, American Law & Economics Association.
    2. repec:pit:wpaper:320 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Fleck, Robert K. & Hanssen, F. Andrew, 2010. "Repeated adjustment of delegated powers and the history of eminent domain," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 99-112, June.
    4. Guerriero, Carmine, 2011. "Accountability in government and regulatory policies: Theory and evidence," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 453-469.
    5. Dove, John A., 2015. "The effect of judicial independence on entrepreneurship in the US states," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 72-96.
    6. repec:bla:pbudge:v:37:y:2017:i:3:p:24-46 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Christian Almer & Timo Goeschl, 2011. "The political economy of the environmental criminal justice system: a production function approach," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 148(3), pages 611-630, September.
    8. Hadfield, Gillian K., 2008. "The levers of legal design: Institutional determinants of the quality of law," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 43-73, March.

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