Judges and Taxes: Judicial Review, Judicial Independence and the Size of Government

31 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2005

See all articles by George Tridimas

George Tridimas

University of Ulster - School of Economics


The study investigates how judicial review of policy and judicial independence affect the relative size of government. Judicial oversight of policy is the authority of courts to check the legality of policy measures and annul measures which are incompatible with the constitution or are enacted without following the procedures laid down by the law. Using a model of constitutional political economy, where policy making is subject to judicial oversight, it is predicted that the relative size of the public sector decreases as judicial review and judicial independence increase. The theoretical predictions are tested in an international cross section sample of 52 countries. Controlling for the effects of real income, age, dependency, openness of the economy, the legal origins of a country and other socio-political variables the results show that the checks and balances provided by the judiciary lead to a smaller relative size of taxes in the economy.

Keywords: Size of government, constitutional political economy, judicial review of policy, judicial independence

JEL Classification: D70, D72, D74, D78, H30, K41

Suggested Citation

Tridimas, George, Judges and Taxes: Judicial Review, Judicial Independence and the Size of Government. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=660681

George Tridimas (Contact Author)

University of Ulster - School of Economics ( email )

Shore Road
Co Antrim, Northern Ireland BT37 0QB BT37 0QB
United Kingdom

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