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Policy Deviations, Uncertainty, and the European Court of Justice

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Abstract

The implementation of European Union directives into national law is at the discretion of member states. We analyze incentives for member states to deviate from these directives when the European Commission may sue a defecting member state and rulings at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) are uncertain. We find that higher uncertainty about the preferences of the ECJ increases policy deviation, irrespective of whether a case is taken to court or not. If decisions of member states to deviate are interdependent, the incidence of filed cases decreases while for those policies reaching the ECJ deviations increase.

Suggested Citation

  • Carsten Hefeker & Michael Neugart, 2013. "Policy Deviations, Uncertainty, and the European Court of Justice," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 159-13, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht.
  • Handle: RePEc:sie:siegen:159-13
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    Keywords

    European Union law; directives; compliance; European Court of Justice; court behavior; uncertainty; legal process; European Commission;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process

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