Do Social Rights Affect Social Outcomes?

CHRISTIAN BJØRNSKOV, JACOB MCHANGAMA

AMERICAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE

Abstract: While the United Nations and NGOs are pushing for global judicialization of economic, social, and cultural rights (ESCRs), little is known of their consequences. We provide evidence of the effects of introducing three types of ESCRs into the constitution: the rights to education, health, and social security. Employing a large panel covering annual data from 160 countries in the period 1960–2010, we find no robust evidence of positive effects of ESCRs. We do, however, document adverse medium‐term effects on education, inflation, and civil rights.