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The levers of legal design: Institutional determinants of the quality of law

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  • Hadfield, Gillian K.
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    Abstract

    In the past decade a comparative law and economics literature has emerged that is largely organized around an effort to explain differences in country economic performance in terms of differences between common law and civil code systems. Assumptions about differences between common law and civil code regimes and the correspondence between legal regimes and judicial behavior are, however, still only weakly based in real institutional features of modern legal systems. In this paper, I examine the institutional determinants of the quality of law developed by a legal regime, drawing on a model from Hadfield which identifies five key parameters that influence legal evolution [Hadfield, G.K., 2007a. The quality of law: Judicial incentives, legal human capital and the evolution of law. Manuscript. Available at http://works.bepress.com/ghadfield]. I set out the institutional features that determine these parameters as dimensions along which real legal systems reside. These dimensions include: the organization of the judiciary and the extent to which judicial careers are organized on a bureaucratic career model or what I call a "capstone" model; the organization of the courts and the extent to which jurisdiction is general or specific; the mechanisms of information distribution and the extent to which information is distributed to a broad public audience or a more confined professional audience; the role of judges, whether active or passive, in finding facts and shaping the issues in adjudication; the role of public versus private entities in the enforcement of judgments (damages); and the degree to which the mechanisms by which legal services are produced, priced and distributed are competitive or professionally-controlled. My claim is that these key institutional dimensions, rather than conventional and more abstract distinctions based on the sources of law or judicial independence should be the primary focus of empirical efforts to evaluate and policy efforts to reform legal regimes. They are the levers of legal design. Journal of Comparative Economics 36 (1) (2008) 43-73.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Comparative Economics.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 43-73

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:36:y:2008:i:1:p:43-73

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864

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    References

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    17. Daughety, Andrew F & Reinganum, Jennifer F, 2000. "On the Economics of Trials: Adversarial Process, Evidence, and Equilibrium Bias," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 365-94, October.
    18. RAFAEL LaPORTA & FLORENCIO LOPEZ-de-SILANES & ANDREI SHLEIFER & ROBERT W. VISHNY, . "Legal Determinants of External Finance,"," CRSP working papers 324, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
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    Cited by:
    1. Brousseau, Eric & Garrouste, Pierre & Raynaud, Emmanuel, 2011. "Institutional changes: Alternative theories and consequences for institutional design," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(1-2), pages 3-19, June.
    2. Leonardo Felli & Alessandro Riboni & Luca Anderlini, 2007. "Statute Law or Case Law?," 2007 Meeting Papers 952, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Brousseau, Eric & Schemeil, Yves & Sgard, Jérôme, 2010. "Bargaining on law and bureaucracies: A constitutional theory of development," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 253-266, September.
    4. Dari-Mattiacci, Giuseppe & Deffains, Bruno & Lovat, Bruno, 2011. "The dynamics of the legal system," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 95-107.
    5. Armour, J. & Deakin, S. & Mollica, V. & Siems, M.M., 2010. "Law and Financial Development: What we are learning from time-series evidence," ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers wp399, ESRC Centre for Business Research.
    6. Hadfield, Gillian K., 2011. "The dynamic quality of law: The role of judicial incentives and legal human capital in the adaptation of law," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(1-2), pages 80-94, June.
    7. Voigt, Stefan, 2012. "On the optimal number of courts," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 49-62.

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