Law and Finance "at the Origin"
What are the key determinants of financial development and growth? A large literature debates the relative importance of countries' legal and political environment. In this paper, I present evidence from ancient Rome, where an early form of shareholder company, the societas publicanorum, developed. I show that the societas publicanorum flourished in a legally underdeveloped but politically supportive environment (Roman Republic) and disappeared when Roman law reached its height of legal sophistication but the political environment grew less supportive (Roman Empire). In the Roman case, legal development appears to have mattered little as long as the law as practiced was flexible and adapted to economic needs. The "law as practiced," in turn, reflected prevalent political interests. After discussing parallels in more recent history, I provide a brief overview of the literature on law and finance and on politics and finance. The historical evidence suggests that legal systems may be less of a technological constraint for growth than previously thought -- at least "at the origin." (JEL D72, K10, N23, N43)
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 47 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/journal|
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: https://www.aeaweb.org/subscribe.html|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Beck, Thorsten & Levine, Ross & Loayza, Norman, 1999.
"Finance and the sources of growth,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
2057, The World Bank.
- Ross Levine, 2005.
"Law, Endowments, and Property Rights,"
NBER Working Papers
11502, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ross Levine, 1998.
"The legal environment, banks, and long-run economic growth,"
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Aug, pages 596-620.
- Levine, Ross, 1998. "The Legal Environment, Banks, and Long-Run Economic Growth," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 30(3), pages 596-613, August.
- Pagano, Marco & Volpin, Paolo, 2002.
"The Political Economy of Finance,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3231, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Bencivenga, Valerie R. & Smith, Bruce D., 1993.
"Some consequences of credit rationing in an endogenous growth model,"
Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control,
Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 97-122.
- Bencivenga, V.R. & Smith, B.D., 1988. "Some Consequences Of Credit Rationing In An Endogenous Growth Model," RCER Working Papers 159, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Peter Temin, 2006. "The Economy of the Early Roman Empire," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 133-151, Winter.
- Levine, Ross & Loayza, Norman & Beck, Thorsten, 2000.
"Financial intermediation and growth: Causality and causes,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 31-77, August.
- Ross Levine & Norman Loayza & Thorsten Beck, 2002. "Financial Intermediation and Growth: Causality and Causes," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Leonardo Hernández & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Se (ed.), Banking, Financial Integration, and International Crises, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 2, pages 031-084 Central Bank of Chile.
- Thorsten Beck & Ross Levine & Norman Loayza, 1999. "Financial Intermediation and Growth: Causality and Causes," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 56, Central Bank of Chile.
- Levine, Ross & Loayza, Norman & Beck, Thorsten, 1999. "Financial intermediation and growth : Causality and causes," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2059, The World Bank.
- Temin, Peter, 2004. "Financial Intermediation in the Early Roman Empire," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 64(03), pages 705-733, September.
- Mark I. Weinstein, 2003. "Share Price Changes and the Arrival of Limited Liability in California," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 1-25, 01.
- Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Vojislav Maksimovic, 2005. "Financial and Legal Constraints to Growth: Does Firm Size Matter?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(1), pages 137-177, 02.
- Richard Sylla, 2006. "Schumpeter Redux: A Review of Raghuram G. Rajan and Luigi Zingales's Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(2), pages 391-404, June.
- Forbes, Kevin F, 1986. "Limited Liability and the Development of the Business Corporation," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(1), pages 163-77, Spring.
- Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 2000.
"Agency Problems and Dividend Policies around the World,"
Journal of Finance,
American Finance Association, vol. 55(1), pages 1-33, 02.
- Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Agency Problems and Dividend Policies Around the World," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1839, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1998. "Agency Problems and Dividend Policies Around the World," NBER Working Papers 6594, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Wurgler, Jeffrey, 2000.
"Financial markets and the allocation of capital,"
Journal of Financial Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 187-214.
- Peter Temin, 2001. "A Market Economy in the Early Roman Empire," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _039, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
- Levine, Ross, 2002.
"Bank-Based or Market-Based Financial Systems: Which Is Better?,"
Journal of Financial Intermediation,
Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 398-428, October.
- Ross Levine, 2002. "Bank-Based or Market-Based Financial Systems: Which is Better?," NBER Working Papers 9138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ross Levine, 2002. "Bank-Based or Market-Based Financial Systems: Which is Better?," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 442, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
- Beck, Thorsten & Levine, Ross, 2002.
"Industry growth and capital allocation:*1: does having a market- or bank-based system matter?,"
Journal of Financial Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 147-180, May.
- Thorsten Beck & Ross Levine, 2002. "Industry Growth and Capital Allocation: Does Having a Market- or Bank-Based System Matter?," NBER Working Papers 8982, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Peter Temin, 2001. "A Market Economy in the Early Roman Empire," Economics Series Working Papers 2001-W39, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Jayaratne, Jith & Strahan, Philip E, 1996. "The Finance-Growth Nexus: Evidence from Bank Branch Deregulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 639-70, August.
- Marco Pagano & Paolo Volpin, 2006. "Alfred Marshall Lecture Shareholder Protection, Stock Market Development, and Politics," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 315-341, 04-05.
- Mark J. Roe, 1997. "The Political Roots Of American Corporate Finance," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 9(4), pages 8-22.
- Greif, Avner, 1989. "Reputation and Coalitions in Medieval Trade: Evidence on the Maghribi Traders," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 857-882, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:47:y:2009:i:4:p:1076-1108. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros)or (Michael P. Albert)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.