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The rule of law: Measurement and deep roots

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  • Gutmann, Jerg
  • Voigt, Stefan

Abstract

We propose a new de facto indicator for the rule of law. It is the first such indicator to take the quality of legal norms explicitly into account and not only their enforcement. Using this indicator, we investigate the deep roots of the rule of law. Our findings suggest that, in line with the theoretical literature on long-run economic development, specific determinants of long-run development (such as colonization events and strategies) operate via the rule of law, whereas others (such as the timing of early state formation and the transition from hunter-gatherer to agrarian societies) are not related to the rule of law. We interpret this evidence as supportive of the established notion in the literature that institutions matter for development.

Suggested Citation

  • Gutmann, Jerg & Voigt, Stefan, 2018. "The rule of law: Measurement and deep roots," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 68-82.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:54:y:2018:i:c:p:68-82
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2018.04.001
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    1. repec:spr:ecogov:v:19:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10101-018-0206-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Martin Gassebner & Jerg Gutmann & Stefan Voigt, 2016. "When to expect a coup d’état? An extreme bounds analysis of coup determinants," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 169(3), pages 293-313, December.
    3. Berggren, Niclas & Nilsson, Therese, 2016. "Tolerance in the United States: Does economic freedom transform racial, religious, political and sexual attitudes?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(S), pages 53-70.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic development; Education; Geography; Institutions; Rule of law;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • K10 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - General (Constitutional Law)
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth

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