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Legal Origin, Juridical Form and Industrialisation in Historical Perspective: The Case of the Employment Contract and the Joint-Stock Company

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  • Simon Deakin
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    Abstract

    The timing and nature of industrialization in Britain and continental Europe had significant consequences for the growth and development of labour market institutions, effects which are still felt today and which are visible in the conceptual structure of labour law and company law in different countries. However, contrary to the claims of the legal origin hypothesis, a liberal model of contract was more influential in the civilian systems of the continent than in the English common law, where the consequences of early industrialization included the lingering influence of master-servant legislation and the weak institutionalization of the juridical form of the contract of employment. Claims for a strong-form legal origin effect, which is time invariant and resistant to pressures for legal convergence, are not borne out by a growing body of historical evidence and time-series data. The idea that legal cultures can influence the long-run path of economic development is worthy of closer empirical investigation but it is premature to use legal origin theory as a basis for policy initiatives.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by ESRC Centre for Business Research in its series ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers with number wp369.

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    Date of creation: Jun 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:cbr:cbrwps:wp369

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    Web page: http://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/

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    Keywords: varieties of capitalism; legal origin; labour law; company law; corporate governance;

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    1. Mahoney, Paul G, 2001. "The Common Law and Economic Growth: Hayek Might Be Right," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 503-25, Part I Ju.
    2. Simeon Djankov & Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2003. "The New Comparative Economics," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2002, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    3. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
    4. Simon Deakin & Prabirjit Sarkar, 2008. "Assessing the Long-Run Economic Impact of Labour Law Systems: A theoretical Reappraisal and Analysis of New Time Series Data," ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers wp367, ESRC Centre for Business Research.
    5. Beck, T.H.L. & Demirgüç-Kunt , A. & Levine, R., 2003. "Law and finance: Why does legal origin matter?," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125511, Tilburg University.
    6. Juan Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael Porta & Florencio C. Lopez-De-Silanes, 2004. "The Regulation of Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1339-1382, November.
    7. Andrei Shleifer & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Rafael La Porta, 2008. "The Economic Consequences of Legal Origins," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(2), pages 285-332, June.
    8. Sonja Fagernäs & Prabirjit Sarkar & Ajit Singh, 2007. "Legal Origin, Shareholder Protection and the Stock Market: New Challenges from Time Series Analysis," ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers wp343, ESRC Centre for Business Research.
    9. John Armour & Simon Deakin & Prabirjit Sarkar & Mathias Siems & Ajit Singh, 2007. "Shareholder Protection and Stock Market Development: An Empirical Test of the Legal Origins Hypothesis," ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers wp358, ESRC Centre for Business Research.
    10. Simon DEAKIN & Priya LELE & Mathias SIEMS, 2007. "The evolution of labour law: Calibrating and comparing regulatory regimes," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 146(3-4), pages 133-162, 09.
    11. Rajan, Raghuram G. & Zingales, Luigi, 2003. "The great reversals: the politics of financial development in the twentieth century," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 5-50, July.
    12. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 2001. "Legal Origins," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1920, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    13. Sarkar, Prabirjit, 2007. "Stock Market Development and Capital Accumulation: Does Law Matter? A Case Study of India," MPRA Paper 5052, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Djankov, Simeon & La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2008. "The law and economics of self-dealing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 430-465, June.
    15. Ross Levine, 1997. "Financial Development and Economic Growth: Views and Agenda," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 688-726, June.
    16. Mathias Siems, 2007. "Shareholder Protection around the World ("Leximetric II")," ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers wp359, ESRC Centre for Business Research.
    17. Simeon Djankov & Caralee McLiesh & Andrei Shleifer, 2005. "Private Credit in 129 Countries," NBER Working Papers 11078, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Mathias Siems & Priya Lele, 2006. "Shareholder Protection: A Leximetric Approach," ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers wp324, ESRC Centre for Business Research.
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