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The Economic Effects of Judicial Accountability. Some Preliminary Insights

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  • Stefan Voigt

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Abstract

Judicial independence is not only a necessary condition for the impartiality of judges, it can also endanger it: judges that are independent could have incentives to remain uninformed, become lazy or even corrupt. It is therefore often argued that judicial independence and judicial accountability are competing ends. In this paper, it is, however, hypothesized that they are not necessarily competing ends but can be complementary means towards achieving impartiality and, in turn, the rule of law. It is further argued that judicial accountability can increase per capita income through various channels one of which is the reduction of corruption. First tests concerning the economic effects of JA are carried out drawing on the absence of corruption within the judiciary as well as data gathered by the U.S. State Department as proxies. On the basis of 75 countries, these proxies are highly significant for explaining differences in per capita income.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Voigt, 2005. "The Economic Effects of Judicial Accountability. Some Preliminary Insights," ICER Working Papers 19-2005, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:icr:wpicer:19-2005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kirchgassner, Gebhard & Pommerehne, Werner W, 1993. "Low-Cost Decisions as a Challenge to Public Choice," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 77(1), pages 107-115, September.
    2. Beck, Thorsten & Clarke, George & Groff, Alberto & Keefer, Philip & Walsh, Patrick, 2000. "New tools and new tests in comparative political economy - the database of political institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2283, The World Bank.
    3. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    4. Lars P. Feld & Stefan Voigt, 2004. "Making Judges Independent – Some Proposals Regarding the Judiciary," CESifo Working Paper Series 1260, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefan Voigt & Lorenz Blume, 2007. "Wenn Justitia die Hand aufhält - Ursachen und Folgen korrupter Justizbehörden," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8(1), pages 65-92, January.
    2. Enrico Colombatto, 2007. "It was the rule of law. Will it be the rule of judges?," ICER Working Papers 41-2007, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Judicial Independence; judicial accountability; rule of law; economic growth; corruption; constitutional political economy.;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems

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