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

Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2014-04

Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2014-57

44 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2014 Last revised: 3 Nov 2015

See all articles by Giuseppe Dari‐Mattiacci

Giuseppe Dari‐Mattiacci

University of Amsterdam; Tinbergen Institute; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Carmine Guerriero

Department of Economics, University of Bologna

Date Written: January 12, 2015

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Dari-Mattiacci, Giuseppe and Guerriero, Carmine, Law and Culture: A Theory of Comparative Variation in Bona Fide Purchase Rules (January 12, 2015). 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, Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2014-04, Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2014-57, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2526060 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2526060

Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Postbus 15654
1001 ND
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland 1001 ND
Netherlands

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

Carmine Guerriero

Department of Economics, University of Bologna ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 2
Bologna, 40126
Italy

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