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Democracy, Judicial Attitudes and Heterogeneity: The Civil Versus Common Law Tradition

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  • Guerriero, C.

Abstract

A key issue in the design of a legal system is the choice of the mechanism aggregating preferences over the level of deterrence. While under Case law appellate judges’ biases offset one another at the cost of volatility of precedents, under Statute law the Legislator chooses certain rules that are biased only when bribes are accepted: i.e., when political institutions are weak and/or the preference heterogeneity is sufficiently high. Thus, only in the last scenario, Case law can outperform Statute law. Also, institutions fostering limited discretion by lower courts improve the performance of Case law. Instrumental variables estimates based on historical data from 156 countries confirm this prediction.

Suggested Citation

  • Guerriero, C., 2009. "Democracy, Judicial Attitudes and Heterogeneity: The Civil Versus Common Law Tradition," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0917, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0917
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    Cited by:

    1. Hayo, Bernd & Voigt, Stefan, 2010. "Determinants of constitutional change: Why do countries change their form of government?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, pages 283-305.
    2. Brousseau, Eric & Garrouste, Pierre & Raynaud, Emmanuel, 2011. "Institutional changes: Alternative theories and consequences for institutional design," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 3-19.
    3. Ojo, Marianne, 2015. "Decentralisation and The Evolution of Common Law," MPRA Paper 65803, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Aidt, T.S., 2010. "Corruption and Sustainable Development," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1061, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    legal origins; culture; democracy; economic development.;

    JEL classification:

    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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