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The Guarantees of Freedom

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  • Andrei Shleifer

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

  • Rafael La Porta

    ()
    (Tuck School of Business)

  • Florencio Lopez de Silanes

    ()
    (School of Management)

  • Cristian Pop-Eleches

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Yale School of Management in its series Yale School of Management Working Papers with number ysm261.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:ysm261

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Web page: http://icf.som.yale.edu/
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  1. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. "Legal Determinants of External Finance," NBER Working Papers 5879, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Schleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 2001. "Investor Protection and Corporate Governance," Working Paper Series rwp01-017, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  3. Vives,Xavier (ed.), 2000. "Corporate Governance," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521781640.
  4. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1997. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," NBER Working Papers 6009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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