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Legal institutionalism: Capitalism and the constitutive role of lawAuthor-Name: Deakin, Simon

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  • Gindis, David
  • Hodgson, Geoffrey M.
  • Huang, Kainan
  • Pistor, Katharina

Abstract

Social scientists have paid insufficient attention to the role of law in constituting the economic institutions of capitalism. Part of this neglect emanates for inadequate conceptions of the nature of law itself. Spontaneous conceptions of law and property rights that downplay the role of the state are criticized here, because they typically assume relatively small numbers of agents and underplay the complexity and uncertainty in developed capitalist systems. In developed capitalist economies, law is sustained through interaction between private agents, courts and the legislative apparatus. Law is also a key institution for overcoming contracting uncertainties. It is furthermore a part of the power structure of society, and a major means by which power is exercised. This argument is illustrated by considering institutions such as property and the firm. Complex systems of law have played a crucial role in capitalist development and are also vital for developing economies.

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  • Gindis, David & Hodgson, Geoffrey M. & Huang, Kainan & Pistor, Katharina, 2017. "Legal institutionalism: Capitalism and the constitutive role of lawAuthor-Name: Deakin, Simon," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 188-200.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:45:y:2017:i:1:p:188-200
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2016.04.005
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    5. Finnegan David L., 2018. "Demand for Law in the African Private Sector," The Law and Development Review, De Gruyter, vol. 11(2), pages 333-369, December.
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    8. Blanche Segrestin & Armand Hatchuel & Kevin Levillain, 2020. "When the law distinguishes between the enterprise and the corporation: the case of the new French law on corporate purpose," Post-Print hal-02441287, HAL.
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    10. Simon Deakin, 2017. "Tony Lawson’s Theory of the Corporation: Towards a Social Ontology of Law," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(5), pages 1505-1523.
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