Courts: The Lex Mundi Project
Ministry of Finance; World Bank
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)
Yale ICF Working Paper No. 02-18; Harvard Institute of Economic Research Paper No. 1951
In cooperation with Lex Mundi member law firms in 109 countries, we measure and describe the exact procedures used by litigants and courts to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent and to collect a bounced check. We use these data to construct an index of procedural formalism of dispute resolution for each country. We find that such formalism is systematically greater in civil than in common law countries. Moreover, procedural formalism is associated with higher expected duration of judicial proceedings, more corruption, less consistency, less honesty, less fairness in judicial decisions, and inferior access to justice. These results suggest that legal transplantation may have led to an inefficiently high level of procedural formalism, particularly in developing countries.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 68
JEL Classification: K10, K40, K41, K42, O10working papers series
Date posted: March 19, 2002
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