Judicial Institutionalization and Business Elite Trust in the Post-Communist Courts

  •  Kirill Bumin    


The existing survey research in post-communist societies focuses disproportionately on the mass citizenry and largely ignores questions about elite support for judicial institutions. This study examines business elite’s confidence in the post-communist legal systems and assesses the effects of judicial institutionalization on their perceptions. It argues that as post-communist constitutional courts develop, their institutionalization helps generate positive elite perceptions of the country’s legal system. This study tests hypotheses regarding business elite confidence in the legal system with the Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Survey data. The results show that the level of constitutional court institutionalization is an important determinant of business elite’s perceptions of the legal system. During the 1999-2005 period, businesspersons in countries with highly institutionalized constitutional courts are on average 23.5% more likely to express high level of confidence in their legal systems relative to businesspersons in countries where constitutional courts are weakly institutionalized.

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