Jurisdictional Competition and Legal Innovations

Posted: 10 Jun 2013

See all articles by Erin A. O'Hara O'Connor

Erin A. O'Hara O'Connor

Florida State University - College of Law; Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Research

Date Written: May 21, 2013


Governments can be slow, incompetent, and vulnerable to corruption and other forms of illegitimate favoritism. Under such circumstances, one might expect little by way of productive innovation in public institutions, including law. However, competitive forces play an essential role in legal innovation, just as they play an important role in other forms of innovation. Where these competitive forces are present, mobile individuals and businesses can wield substantial political power. Although such forces can be muted in the context of governments, states compete for jobs, business opportunities, tax revenues, and other forms of wealth, and local interest groups, including local lawyers, can help mobilize the state toward innovative reforms designed to attract such wealth. To be effective, often only a few nation-states need actively compete. Jurisdictional competition can create harmful pressures on the content of laws, to be sure, but as a positive matter it often is a necessary precursor to legal reform. My talk will discuss several examples.

Suggested Citation

O'Hara O'Connor, Erin A., Jurisdictional Competition and Legal Innovations (May 21, 2013). Innovation and Growth: Biological, Economic, Institutional and Technological - Squaw Valley, CA May 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2275535

Erin A. O'Hara O'Connor (Contact Author)

Florida State University - College of Law ( email )

425 W. Jefferson Street
Tallahassee, FL 32306
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.fsu.edu/our-faculty/deans/ohara-oconnor

Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Research

158 Goya Road
Portola Valley, CA 94028
United States

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