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Rights as Signals

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  • Farber, Daniel A

Abstract

Because rights operate as trumps over normal governmental interests, they have an inherent cost. Consequently, by entrenching protection for human rights, governments can signal a willingness to give up power in the short term to obtain long-term benefits. Investors can infer from this that the government has a low discount rate and is less likely to pose a threat of expropriation. Similarly, when courts vigorously enforce human rights, they dramatize their judicial independence, which is valuable to investors, who themselves may have no interest in human rights. Thus, human rights enforcement may help encourage investment and thereby indirectly foster economic growth. Copyright 2002 by the University of Chicago.

Suggested Citation

  • Farber, Daniel A, 2002. "Rights as Signals," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 83-98, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:31:y:2002:i:1:p:83-98
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/323889
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefan Voigt, 2011. "Positive constitutional economics II—a survey of recent developments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(1), pages 205-256, January.
    2. Jan Fałkowski & Katarzyna Metelska-Szaniawska, 2015. "Przyczyny ustanawiania i stabilność konstytucji państwa - perspektywa ekonomiczna," Gospodarka Narodowa, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 3, pages 79-105.
    3. Vinod, Hrishikesh D., 2006. "Should Asians demand both entrepreneurship and human rights?," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 14-28, February.
    4. Katarzyna Metelska-Szaniawska, 2015. "Economic Effects of Post-Socialist Constitutions Revisited (nearly) 25 Years from the Outset of Transition," Working Papers 2015-33, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    5. Goderis, Benedikt & Versteeg, Mila, 2014. "The diffusion of constitutional rights," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 1-19.
    6. Lorenz Blume & Stefan Voigt, 2007. "The Economic Effects of Human Rights," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 509-538, November.
    7. Yukihiro Yazaki, 2014. "Rights and judicial independence," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 179-201, May.

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