Contractual Flexibility and Political Tolerance: Revisiting Public Contract Renegotiations

Jean Beuve (Universite Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne)
Marian Moszoro (George Mason University & IMF)
Pablo Spiller (University of California, Berkeley & NBER)

Abstract : We compare renegotiation rates of procurement contracts in which the procurer is either a public administration or a private corporation. We find that public-to-private contracts are renegotiated more often than private-to-private contracts and that this pattern is more salient in politically contestable jurisdictions. The frequent renegotiation of public contracts results from their inherent rigidity and provides a relational quality of adaptability to contingencies in politically contestable environments.

Are Adjudication Panels Strategically Selected? the Case of Constitutional Court in Poland

Jacek Lewkowicz (University of Warsaw)
Jan Fałkowski (University of Warsaw)

Abstract : While judicial independence is often considered to be a foundation for the rule of law and economic prosperity, there is overwhelming evidence suggesting that judges and court decision-making are sensitive to the political environment. In this paper, we explore one channel through which political alignment of the judges can manifest itself and verify whether political party support, expressed as a recommendation to the tribunal, is relevant for the allocation of judges to adjudication panels. Our specific example comes from the Polish Constitutional Tribunal and refers to the period 2005- 2014. With respect to the mass of filed cases, we do not find that allocation of judges to adjudication panels favored nominees of any political party. Our results however provide support for the strategic selection to adjudication panels in politically sensitive cases in the period 2011-2014. We find that nominees of the governing party were allocated to these panels more often than other members of the tribunal and that in these cases they had more voting power than in cases of lower political clout.