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Explaining Constitutional Change: The Case of Judicial Independence

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  • Bernd Hayo
  • Stefan Voigt

Abstract

This paper studies the factors driving changes in judicial independence (JI) as incorporated in constitutions. Two indicators of constitutionally safeguarded JI are constructed. Variations in these indicators are identified based on changes in the constitutions of as many as 100 countries that occurred between 1950 and 2005. Four groups of factors are conjectured to be relevant for explaining these changes. We find only weak evidence for the insurance theory of judicial independence but strong evidence that the characteristics of individual leaders—such as how they acquired or lost power—play an important role in explaining changes in constitutionally safeguarded JI. This paper contributes not only to the literature on JI but also to the theory of endogenous constitutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Bernd Hayo & Stefan Voigt, 2012. "Explaining Constitutional Change: The Case of Judicial Independence," CESifo Working Paper Series 4032, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4032
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Voigt, Stefan & Gutmann, Jerg & Feld, Lars P., 2015. "Economic growth and judicial independence, a dozen years on: Cross-country evidence using an updated Set of indicators," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 197-211.
    2. Jerg Gutmann & Stefan Voigt, 2015. "The rule of law and constitutionalism in Muslim countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 162(3), pages 351-380, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    judicial independence; constitutional change; endogenous constitutions; relevance of leaders;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • K10 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - General (Constitutional Law)
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies

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