The Impact of Presidential Appointment of Judges: Montesquieu or the Federalists?
- American Economic Journal: Applied Economics (Forthcoming)
A central question in development economics is whether there are adequate checks and balances on the executive. This paper provides causal evidence on how increasing constraints on the executive—via removal of Presidential discretion in judicial appointments—promotes rule of law. The age structure of judges at the time of the reform and the mandatory retirement age law provides us with an exogenous source of variation in the termination of Presidential discretion in judicial appointments. Overall, the results indicate that Presidential appointment of judges deteriorates rule of law.
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