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Law or strategic calculus? Abstention in the Argentine Supreme Court

Sergio Muro and Alejandro Chehtman

International Review of Law and Economics, 2020, vol. 62, issue C

Abstract: Abstention theory suggests that self-interest leads voters to abstain. While this theory has been studied in different settings, abstention in courts has received scant attention. Jacobi and Kontorovich (2014) hypothesize that stare decisis renders abstention theory inapplicable to courts. We test this prediction empirically using data from the Argentine Supreme Court. Consistent with abstention theory, we show that Justices whose vote is pivotal have a lower probability of abstention than non-pivotal ones. In contrast, we fail to find evidence in support of the probability of abstention being positively related to appeals without stare decisis implications.

Keywords: High court; Abstention; Rational choice; Strategic; Precedent (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:62:y:2020:i:c:s0144818819300602

DOI: 10.1016/j.irle.2020.105889

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