Endogenous Legal Traditions and Economic Outcomes
University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics (ACLE); University of Amsterdam
July 2, 2012
ACLE Working Papers, 2012-02
The law and the economy are deeply influenced by the set of institutions used to aggregate the citizens' preferences over the harshness of punishment --- i.e., the legal tradition. While under common law appellate judges' biases offset one another at the cost of volatility of the law, under civil law the legislator chooses certain legal rules that are biased only when she favors special interests: i.e., when preferences are sufficiently heterogeneous and/or the political process sufficiently inefficient. Hence, common law can produce better economic performances only in the last scenario. Instrumental variables estimates based on data from 99 transplants confirm this prediction.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 37
Keywords: legal origins, culture, democracy, regulation, economic development
JEL Classification: K40, Z1, H11, O10, L5, P10working papers series
Date posted: July 2, 2012 ; Last revised: August 12, 2012
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