Law and Culture: A Theory of Comparative Variation in Bona Fide Purchase Rules
Dari-Mattiacci, Giuseppe and Guerriero, Carmine (2015), ‘Law and Culture: A Theory of Comparative Variation in Bona Fide Purchase Rules,’ 35(3) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 543-574
44 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2014 Last revised: 3 Nov 2015
Date Written: January 12, 2015
A key question in comparative law is why different legal systems provide different legal solutions for the same problem. To answer this question, we use novel comparative evidence on how the conflict between the dispossessed original owner and the bona fide purchaser of a stolen good is resolved in different countries. This is the most primitive manifestation of a fundamental legal choice: the balance between the protection of the owner’s property rights and the enhancement of the buyer’s reliance on contracts. We test four prominent theories: functional equivalence, legal origins, political economics, and cultural economics. We find that a culture of self-reliance is the key determinant of comparative variation in this area of law.
Keywords: culture, comparative variation, legal origins, functional equivalence, good faith purchase
JEL Classification: K11, K12, K40, Z10
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