Rule of Law, Development and Human Capabilities
J. Robert Subrick
James Madison University
Peter J. Boettke
George Mason University - Department of Economics
Supreme Court Economic Review, pp. 109-126, Fall 2002
This paper examines the impact of the rule of law on human capabilities. Amartya Sen has argued and provided evidence that improvements in economic development do not necessarily lead to human capabilities. Human capabilities are defined as non-monetary factors that improve well-being such as life expectancy, infant mortality, malnutrition, environmental factors, and education. We estimate the impact of the rule of law on human capabilities by using an instrumental variables approach. We instrument the level of development with an index for the rule of law. There is little theoretical reason to expect the rule of law to directly impact human capabilities. We then use the predicted values of development to determine if the economic development is positively correlated with human capabilities. We find that there is a positive relationship between and most measures of human capabilities. We find no such relationship when examining environmental factors that is likely the result of the small number of observations.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 18
JEL Classification: B53, O15, O43,Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: January 18, 2010
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