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Endogenous legal traditions

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  • Guerriero, Carmine

Abstract

A key feature of a legal system is the set of institutions used to aggregate the citizens’ preferences over the harshness of punishment, i.e., the legal tradition. While under common law appellate judges’ biases offset one another at the cost of volatility of the law, under civil law the legislator chooses a certain legal rule that is biased only when he favors special interests, i.e., when preferences are sufficiently heterogeneous and/or the political process is sufficiently inefficient. Hence, common law can be selected only under this last scenario. This prediction is consistent with a novel dataset on the lawmaking and adjudication institutions in place at independence and in 2000 in 155 transplants, many of which reformed the transplanted legal tradition.

Suggested Citation

  • Guerriero, Carmine, 2016. "Endogenous legal traditions," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 49-69.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:46:y:2016:i:c:p:49-69
    DOI: 10.1016/j.irle.2016.02.001
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    Cited by:

    1. Theo S. Eicher & David J. Kuenzel, 2017. "European Influence and Economic Development," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2017-002, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Legal origins; Culture; Political institutions; Economic development;

    JEL classification:

    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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