The Economic Effects of Human Rights
AbstractEconomists are often skeptical concerning the economic effects of various forms of human rights: it has been argued that basic human rights can make the legal system less efficient but also that extensive social rights are incompatible with market economies. It is argued here that basic human rights are a precondition for other kinds of rights such as property and civil rights and that they are thus efficiency-enhancing. Four different groups of rights are identified. It is asked what effects they have on welfare and growth. The transmission channels through which the different rights affect welfare and growth are identified by estimating their effects on investment in both physical and human capital and overall productivity. Basic human rights have indeed a positive effect on investment, but do not seem to contribute to productivity. Social or emancipatory rights, in turn, are not conducive to investment in physical capital but do contribute to productivity improvements. None of the four groups of rights ever has a significant negative effect on any of the economic variables here included.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Kassel, Institute of Economics in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 66/04.
Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
- H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
- K10 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - General (Constitutional Law)
- O11 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
- O57 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries
- P14 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Property Rights
- P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-02-13 (All new papers)
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