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Legal Origin, Civil Procedure, and the Quality of Contract Enforcement

Author

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  • Holger Spamann

Abstract

This paper empirically compares civil procedure in common-law and civil-law countries. Using World-Bank and hand-collected data, and unlike earlier studies that used predecessor data sets, this paper finds no systematic differences between common- and civil-law countries in the complexity, formalism, duration, or cost of procedure in courts of first instance. The paper further finds that by a subjective measure, contract enforceability in common-law countries is higher than in French, but lower than in German and Scandinavian, civil-law countries. Given civil procedure's central role for the common-civil-law distinction, these findings challenge the distinction's economic relevance.

Suggested Citation

  • Holger Spamann, 2010. "Legal Origin, Civil Procedure, and the Quality of Contract Enforcement," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 166(1), pages 149-165, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(201003)166:1_149:locpat_2.0.tx_2-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andrei Shleifer & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Rafael La Porta, 2008. "The Economic Consequences of Legal Origins," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(2), pages 285-332, June.
    2. Bernd Hayo & Stefan Voigt, 2008. "The Relevance of Judicial Procedure for Economic Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 2514, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Aron Balas & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2009. "The Divergence of Legal Procedures," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 138-162, August.
    4. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Levine, Ross, 2003. "Law and finance: why does legal origin matter?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 653-675, December.
    5. Simeon Djankov & Oliver Hart & Caralee McLiesh & Andrei Shleifer, 2008. "Debt Enforcement around the World," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 1105-1149, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. D’Amico, Daniel J. & Williamson, Claudia, 2015. "Do legal origins affect cross-country incarceration rates?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 595-612.
    2. Nketcha Nana, P.V., 2014. "Legal rights, information sharing, and private credit: New cross-country evidence," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 315-323.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
    • K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems

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