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Religion, Politics, and Judicial Independence: Theory and Evidence

Abstract : Most enlightenment philosophers argued that the separation between Church and State would prevent capture of resources by one state religion. We formalize and test a theory that addresses a different danger. We demonstrate that a reduction in the separation between Church and State can be corrosive to political institutions, especially the Judiciary. We show that religious leaders use their high legitimacy to gain political office, and become particularly abusive politicians, misusing their political authority to undermine the independence of the Judiciary. We provide a theoretical framework and estimate the structural equations of our theory using data from Pakistan. Our empirical strategy exploits the plausibly exogenous timing of a military coup to provide causal evidence for the key predictions of our theory.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02481060
Contributor : Elisabeth Lhuillier <>
Submitted on : Monday, February 17, 2020 - 11:27:53 AM
Last modification on : Friday, July 17, 2020 - 8:20:29 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Monday, May 18, 2020 - 2:30:42 PM

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Sultan Mehmood, Avner Seror. Religion, Politics, and Judicial Independence: Theory and Evidence. 2020. ⟨halshs-02481060⟩

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