June 25, 2021, 11:30–12:30
A central idea in the institutions and development literature is whether there are adequate “constraints on the executive” (North, 1990, p.3). This paper provides causal evidence on how increased constraints on the executive, through removal of Presidential appointment of judges, impacts judicial decision-making. We find that when the judge selection procedure changed in Pakistan, from the President to peer appointments, rulings in favor of the government decreased and the quality of judicial decisions improved. The age structure of judges at the time of the reform and the mandatory retirement age law provide us with an exogenous source of variation in the implementation of the reform. These results are explained by rulings in politically salient cases and by “patronage” judges who hold political office prior to their appointments. According to our estimates, Presidential appointment of judges results in additional land expropriations by the government worth 0.14 percent of GDP every year.
Sultan Mehmood (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), “The impact of Presidential appointment of judges: Montesquieu or the FederalistS”, IAST General Seminar, Toulouse: IAST, June 25, 2021, 11:30–12:30.