The Divergence of Legal Procedures
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Rafael La Porta
Dartmouth College - Tuck School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Florencio Lopez de Silanes
EDHEC Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Tinbergen Institute
Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
NBER Working Paper No. w13809
Djankov et al. (2003a) propose and measure for 109 countries in the year 2000 an index of formalism of legal procedure for two simple disputes: eviction of a non-paying tenant and collection of a bounced check. For a sub-sample of 40 countries, we compute this index every year starting in 1950, which allows us to study the evolution of legal rules. We find that between 1950 and 2000, the formalism of legal procedure did not converge, and possibly diverged, between common law and French civil law countries. At least in this specific area of law, the results are inconsistent with the hypothesis that national legal systems are converging, and support the view that legal origins exert long lasting influence on legal rules.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 45working papers series
Date posted: February 15, 2008
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