We are especially grateful to the AJPS editors and three anonymous reviewers. Replication data can be found at http://dvn.iq.harvard.edu/dvn/dv/ajps as well as at http://www.sowi.uni-mannheim.de/lspol2/englisch/08downloads01.html.
The Strategic Nature of Compliance: An Empirical Evaluation of Law Implementation in the Central Monitoring System of the European Union
Article first published online: 6 JUN 2013
©2013, Midwest Political Science Association
American Journal of Political Science
Volume 58, Issue 1, pages 246–263, January 2014
How to Cite
König, T. and Mäder, L. (2014), The Strategic Nature of Compliance: An Empirical Evaluation of Law Implementation in the Central Monitoring System of the European Union. American Journal of Political Science, 58: 246–263. doi: 10.1111/ajps.12038
- Issue published online: 2 JAN 2014
- Article first published online: 6 JUN 2013
This compliance study models correct and timely implementation of policies in a multilevel system as a strategic game between a central monitoring agency and multiple implementers and evaluates statistically the empirical implications of this model. We test whether compliance is determined by the anticipated enforcement decision of the monitoring agency and whether this agency is responsive to the probability of enforcement success and the potential sanctioning costs produced by noncomplying implementers. Compared to other monitoring systems, the centralized monitoring system of the European Union (EU) is praised for exemplary effectiveness, but our findings reveal that the monitoring agency refrains from enforcing compliance when the probability of success is low, and the sanctioning costs are high. This results in a compliance deficit, even though the selective enforcement activities of the monitoring agency are almost always successful before court.