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Legal origins: reconciling law and finance and comparative law


  • Mathias M Siems


In the last few years law and finance scholars have 'discovered' the usefulness of comparative law. Their studies look at the quantifiable effect that legal rules and their enforcement have on financial development in different countries. Moreover, they link their results with the long- standing distinction between Civil Law and Common Law countries. Whether this revival of 'legal families' is a useful way forward is, however, a matter of debate. The following article challenges these studies and looks for characteristic features which are more precise and meaningful than the use of legal families as such.

Suggested Citation

  • Mathias M Siems, 2006. "Legal origins: reconciling law and finance and comparative law," Working Papers wp321, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cbr:cbrwps:wp321
    Note: PRO-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-279, April.
    2. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "The Regulation of Entry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 1-37.
    3. Rafael Porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2006. "What Works in Securities Laws?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(1), pages 1-32, February.
    4. Simon Deakin, 2002. "Evolution for our time: a theory of legal memetics," Working Papers wp242, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    5. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Government Ownership of Banks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 265-301, February.
    6. James A. Dorn, 2003. "Introduction," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 23(1), pages 1-9, Spring/Su.
    7. Djankov, Simeon & McLiesh, Caralee & Shleifer, Andrei, 2007. "Private credit in 129 countries," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 299-329, May.
    8. Thorsten Beck & Ross Levine, 2003. "Legal Institutions and Financial Development," NBER Working Papers 10126, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Djankov, Simeon & La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2008. "The law and economics of self-dealing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 430-465, June.
    10. repec:hrv:faseco:30747190 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Di Vita, Giuseppe, 2009. "Legal families and environmental protection: Is there a causal relationship?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 694-707, September.
    2. repec:ces:ifodic:v:4:y:2006:i:3:p:14567475 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Simon Deakin, 2006. "'Capacitas': Contract Law and the Institutional Preconditions of a Market Economy," Working Papers wp325, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    4. repec:dau:papers:123456789/12816 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Efobi, Uchenna & Tanankem, Belmondo & Asongu, Simplice, 2016. "Technological Advancement and the Evolving Gender Identities: A Focus on the Level of Female Economic Participation in Sub-Saharan Africa," MPRA Paper 77306, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Pollitt, Michael, 2009. "Evaluating the evidence on electricity reform: Lessons for the South East Europe (SEE) market," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 13-23, March.
    7. Di Vita, Giuseppe, 2008. "Differences in pollution levels among civil law countries: A possible interpretation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 3774-3786, October.
    8. Armour, J. & Deakin, S. & Mollica, V. & Siems, M.M., 2010. "Law and Financial Development: What we are learning from time-series evidence," Working Papers wp399, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    9. Mathias M. Siems, 2006. "Shareholder Protection Across Countries – Is the EU on the Right Track?," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 4(3), pages 39-43, October.
    10. Gerner-Beuerle, Carsten, 2014. "Determinants of corporate governance codes," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 55828, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    11. repec:eee:reveco:v:49:y:2017:i:c:p:515-535 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Mathias Siems, 2009. "Shareholder, Creditor and Worker Protection: Time Series Evidence about the Differences between French, German, Idian, UK and US Law," Working Papers wp381, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.

    More about this item


    legal origins; legal families; legal traditions; numerical comparative law; law and finance; law and development; Civil Law; Common Law;

    JEL classification:

    • K00 - Law and Economics - - General - - - General (including Data Sources and Description)
    • K20 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - General
    • K22 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Business and Securities Law
    • N20 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems

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