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Testing Representational Advantage in the Argentine Supreme Court

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 October 2022

Sergio Muro*
Universidad Torcuato Di Tella
Alejandro Chehtman
Universidad Torcuato Di Tella
Jorge Silva Méndez
World Bank
Nelson Amaya Durán
World Bank
Contact the corresponding author, Sergio Muro, at


Even if party capability theory has been well documented, parsing out the reasons why “haves” come out ahead has been challenging. Our study takes advantage of the Argentine Supreme Court’s power to dismiss appeals because they contain formal errors to ascertain the existence of representational advantage. We show that representational advantage plays a significant role, as individual appellants represent a larger proportion of appeals rejected on formal grounds than of those analyzed on their merits. In addition, certain areas of law where asymmetrical capability is prevalent and consistent, particularly labor law, are significantly overrepresented in appeals rejected on formal grounds.

Research Article
© 2018 by the Law and Courts Organized Section of the American Political Science Association. All rights reserved.

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We are indebted to the research assistants of the Argentine Supreme Court Project ( for their excellent work, as well as to participants in the 2016 inaugural conference of the Argentine Supreme Court Project and three anonymous referees for their insightful comments. The usual disclaimer applies.


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