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Law, finance, economic growth and welfare: why does legal origin matter?

  • Asongu Simplice



This paper proposes and empirically validates four theories of why legal origin influences growth and welfare through finance. It is a natural extension of “Law and finance: why does legal origin matter?” by Thorsten Beck, Asli Demirgüç-Kunt and Ross Levine (2003). We find only partial support for the Mundell (1972), La Porta et al. (1998) and Beck et al. (2003) hypotheses that English common-law countries tend to have better developed financial intermediaries than French civil-law countries. While countries with English legal tradition have legal systems that improve financial depth, activity and size, countries with French legal origin overwhelmingly dominate in financial intermediary allocation efficiency. Countries with Portuguese legal origin fall in-between.

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Paper provided by African Governance and Development Institute. in its series Working Papers with number 11/007.

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Length: 26
Date of creation: 18 Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in Institutions and Economies
Handle: RePEc:agd:wpaper:11/007
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  1. Asongu Simplice, 2012. "African Financial Development Dynamics: Big Time Convergence," Working Papers 12/003, African Governance and Development Institute..
  2. Simplice A. Asongu, 2013. "Fighting consumer price inflation in Africa: What do dynamics in money, credit, efficiency and size tell us?," Journal of Financial Economic Policy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 5(1), pages 39-60, February.
  3. Asongu Simplice, 2012. "Are Proposed African Monetary Unions Optimal Currency Areas? Real, Monetary and Fiscal Policy Convergence Analysis," Working Papers 12/006, African Governance and Development Institute..
  4. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:111:y:1996:i:3:p:639-70 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Ross Levine & Sara Zervos, . "Stock markets, banks and economic growth ," CERF Discussion Paper Series 95-11, Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University.
  6. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 2000. "Investor protection and corporate governance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 3-27.
  7. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1998. "Law and Finance," Scholarly Articles 3451310, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Goverment," NBER Working Papers 6727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1998. "Financial Dependence and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 559-86, June.
  10. Rajan, Raghuram G. & Zingales, Luigi, 2003. "The great reversals: the politics of financial development in the twentieth century," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 5-50, July.
  11. Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Vojislav Maksimovic, 1998. "Law, Finance, and Firm Growth," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(6), pages 2107-2137, December.
  12. Simplice A. Asongu, 2013. "Real and monetary policy convergence: EMU crisis to the CFA zone," Journal of Financial Economic Policy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 5(1), pages 20-38, February.
  13. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Levine, Ross, 2002. "Law and finance : why does legal origin matter?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2904, The World Bank.
  14. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance and growth : Schumpeter might be right," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1083, The World Bank.
  15. Beck, Thorsten & Levine, Ross, 2002. "Industry growth and capital allocation:*1: does having a market- or bank-based system matter?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 147-180, May.
  16. Julius A. Agbor, 2011. "How Does Colonial Origin Matter for Economic Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa?," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Working Paper W, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  17. Allen, Franklin & Qian, Jun & Qian, Meijun, 2005. "Law, finance, and economic growth in China," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 57-116, July.
  18. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance and growth : Schumpeter might be right," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1083, The World Bank.
  19. Daniel Berkowitz & Katharina Pistor & Jean-Francois Richard, 2000. "Economic Development, Legality, and the Transplant Effect," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 308, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  20. Asongu Simplice, 2011. "Why do French civil-law countries have higher levels of financial efficiency?," Working Papers 11/011, African Governance and Development Institute..
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