The Guarantees of Freedom

55 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2002

See all articles by Rafael La Porta

Rafael La Porta

Dartmouth College - Tuck School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Florencio Lopez de Silanes

SKEMA Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Cristian Pop-Eleches

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA)

Andrei Shleifer

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2002

Abstract

Hayek (1960) distinguishes the institutions of English freedom, which guarantee the independence of judges from political interference in the administration of justice, from those of American freedom, which allow judges to restrain law-making powers of the sovereign through constitutional review. We create a data base of constitutional rules in 71 countries that reflect these institutions of English and American freedom, and ask whether these rules predict economic and political freedom in a cross-section of countries. We find that the English institutions of judicial independence are strong predictors of economic freedom and weaker predictors of political freedom. The American institutions of checks and balances are strong predictors of political but not of economic freedom. Judicial independence explains half of the positive effect of common law legal origin on measures of economic freedom.

JEL Classification: K00, N40, P10

Suggested Citation

La Porta, Rafael and Lopez de Silanes, Florencio and Pop-Eleches, Cristian (Kiki) and Shleifer, Andrei, The Guarantees of Freedom (January 2002). Harvard Institute of Economic Research Paper No. 1943, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=298057 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.298057

Rafael La Porta

Dartmouth College - Tuck School of Business ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Florencio Lopez de Silanes

SKEMA Business School ( email )

Avenue Willy Brandt, Euralille
Lille, 59777
France

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Cristian (Kiki) Pop-Eleches

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA) ( email )

420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.columbia.edu/~cp2124

Andrei Shleifer (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-5046 (Phone)
617-496-1708 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/~ashleife/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

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

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

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