In the justice we trust: courts as an unbiased institution to resolve governmental corruption

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Pereira Filho, Carlos Eduardo Ferreira
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There is very little information about the underlying reasons for an individual’s distrust of public leaders’ judgment. Although much is known about the reasons why citizens keep supporting corrupt politicians, most of the works do not consider the individuals’ ideological dimension. This study has important implications for the scholarship because it investigates the relationship between confidence in institutional decisions and identification with a candidate. Although Brazilian Supreme Court’s decisions are occasionally contradictory and controversial, we found that constituents consider courts an unbiased institution to resolve governmental corruption. Even when the convicted politician is the participant’s preferred candidate, there is no effect on court’s confidence levels. Beyond that, our results show that the more intense participants’ identification with his candidate, the higher the courts’ confidence. The study also identified that higher education, higher income, and males tend to present greater identification levels with their preferred candidates.