Constitutional Economics on Judiciary - Dictionary of Arguments
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Judiciary/Constitutional economics/Voigt: (…) early models of the separation of powers did not contain the judiciary as an actor. An independent judiciary can be one means of solving the dilemma of the strong state. On the one hand, a state strong enough to protect private property rights is needed; on the other hand, a state that is sufficiently powerful to protect private property rights is also sufficiently powerful to attenuate or outright ignore them. This situation is detrimental for all parties and an independent judiciary can reduce this dilemma: If its decisions are based on the relevant legislation and are regularly enforced by the other government branches despite not being in their own (short-term) interest, aggregate investment will rise and the economy will grow more quickly.
Methodology/problems: One huge problem, of course, is to make the degree of judicial independence measurable and thus comparable across countries. Feld and Voigt (2003(1), 2006(2)) introduce two indicators, one dealing with de jure independence (i.e. the independence of the courts as it can be deduced from legal documents and in particular the constitution) and the other with de facto independence (i.e. the degree of independence that the courts actually enjoy). Estimating the impact of judicial independence (JI) on economic growth, Feld and Voigt (2006)(2) find that while de jure JI does not have an impact on economic growth, de facto JI positively influences real GDP per capita growth in a sample of seventy-three countries. Voigt, Gutmann, and Feld (2015)(3) replicate the previous study with a larger sample covering a more recent time period and find the results of the previous study largely confirmed. >Federalism/Constitutional Economics.
1. Feld, L. P. and S. Voigt (2003). "Economic Growth and Judicial Independence: Cross-Country Evidence using a new set of indicators." European Journal of Political Economy 19(3):
2. Feld, L. P. and S. Voigt (2006). "Making Judges Independent—Some Proposals Regarding the
Judiciary," in R. Congleton and B. Swedenborg, eds., Democratic constitutional Design and Public Policy, Analysis and Evidence, 251-288. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
3. Voigt, S., J. Gutmann, and L. Feld (2015). "Economic Growth and Judicial Independence, a
Dozen Years On: Cross-Country Evidence Using an Updated Set of Indicators. European
Journal of Political Economy 38: 197-211 (2015).
Voigt, Stefan. “Constitutional Economics and the Law”. In: Parisi, Francesco (ed) (2017). The Oxford Handbook of Law and Economics. Vol 1: Methodology and Concepts. NY: Oxford University_____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Francesco Parisi (Ed)
The Oxford Handbook of Law and Economics: Volume 1: Methodology and Concepts New York 2017