Rule of Law, Development and Human Capabilities

Supreme Court Economic Review, pp. 109-126, Fall 2002

18 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2010

See all articles by J. Robert Subrick

J. Robert Subrick

James Madison University- Department of Economics

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Date Written: 2002

Abstract

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.

JEL Classification: B53, O15, O43,

Suggested Citation

Subrick, J. Robert and Boettke, Peter J., Rule of Law, Development and Human Capabilities (2002). Supreme Court Economic Review, pp. 109-126, Fall 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1537979

J. Robert Subrick

James Madison University- Department of Economics ( email )

421 Bluestone Drive MSC 0204
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
United States
540-568-3083 (Phone)

Peter J. Boettke (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-1149 (Phone)
703-993-1133 (Fax)

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