IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cbr/cbrwps/wp464.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

On Heaven's Lathe: State, Rule of Law, & Economic Development

Author

Listed:
  • Ding Chen
  • Simon Deakin

Abstract

We propose a theoretical framework for understanding the evolution of the rule of law state, which is conceived as the equilibrium of a societal game in which actors accept the legitimacy of publicly enunciated legal rules. A meta-norm of respect for the sovereign legal power of the state is not self-forming on the basis of private conduct, but requires the coevolution of impersonal market exchange with effective state capacity to constitute and regulate markets. A functioning legal system must acquire the means not just to control private power but to constrain other organs of government. The emergence of such a 'self-limiting state' is an historical process which, while complementary to a market order, is also contingent and path-dependent, and is not preordained. Illustrating our argument with empirical cases drawn from the contemporary experience of middle income countries, we argue that alternatives to the rule of law state, including interpersonal trust, closed networks and authoritarian political control, can only achieve limited scale and scope effects, and are prone to high deadweight costs arising from corruption and the capture of the public sphere by private interests. We also discuss the potential of transplants of legal rules and institutions to catalyse the transition to impersonal trade based on the rule of law, and present evidence, from time-series econometric analysis, that the diffusion of shareholder protection laws has the potential to support financial development in emerging markets. Evolution towards the rule of law state is, we conclude, one possible developmental path for middle income countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Ding Chen & Simon Deakin, 2014. "On Heaven's Lathe: State, Rule of Law, & Economic Development," Working Papers wp464, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cbr:cbrwps:wp464
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/fileadmin/user_upload/centre-for-business-research/downloads/working-papers/wp464.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
    2. John Armour & Simon Deakin & Priya Lele & Mathias Siems, 2009. "How Do Legal Rules Evolve? Evidence from a cross-country Comparison of Shareholder, Creditor and Worker Protection," Working Papers wp382, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    3. 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.
    4. Prabirjit Sarkar & Ajit Singh, 2010. "Law, finance and development: further analyses of longitudinal data," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(2), pages 325-346, March.
    5. Katharina Pistor, 2000. "Patterns of legal change: shareholder and creditor rights in transition economies," Working Papers 49, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Office of the Chief Economist.
    6. Simon Deakin & David Gindis & Geoffrey M. Hodgson & Kainan Huang & Katharina Pistor, 2015. "Legal Institutionalism: Capitalism & the Constitutive Role of Law," Working Papers wp468, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    7. Andrianova, Svetlana & Demetriades, Panicos & Shortland, Anja, 2008. "Government ownership of banks, institutions, and financial development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1-2), pages 218-252, February.
    8. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, June.
    9. N. Berger, Allen & F. Udell, Gregory, 1998. "The economics of small business finance: The roles of private equity and debt markets in the financial growth cycle," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(6-8), pages 613-673, August.
    10. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Legal Origins," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1193-1229.
    11. Robert D. Cooter & Hans-Bernd Schäfer, 2013. "Solomon’s Knot: How Law Can End the Poverty of Nations," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9540.
    12. Deakin, Simon & Wilkinson, Frank, 2005. "The Law of the Labour Market: Industrialization, Employment, and Legal Evolution," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198152811.
    13. Mathias Siems & Simon Deakin, 2010. "Comparative Law and Finance: Past, Present, and Future Research," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 166(1), pages 120-140, March.
    14. Deakin, Simon & Demetriades, Panicos & James, Gregory A., 2010. "Creditor protection and banking system development in India," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 19-21, July.
    15. Pistor, Katharina, 2013. "A legal theory of finance," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 315-330.
    16. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1998. "Which Capitalism? Lessons Form The East Asian Crisis," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 11(3), pages 40-48.
    17. Arrighetti, Alessandro & Bachmann, Reinhard & Deakin, Simon, 1997. "Contract Law, Social Norms and Inter-firm Cooperation," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(2), pages 171-195, March.
    18. Barry Eichengreen, 2006. "Introduction to The European Economy since 1945: Coordinated Capitalism and Beyond," Introductory Chapters,in: The European Economy since 1945: Coordinated Capitalism and Beyond Princeton University Press.
    19. Katarina Juselius, 2011. "Time to reject the privileging of economic theory over empirical evidence? A reply to Lawson," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(2), pages 423-436.
    20. Robert E. Carpenter & Bruce C. Petersen, 2002. "Capital Market Imperfections, High-Tech Investment, and New Equity Financing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(477), pages 54-72, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Rule of law; economic development; emerging markets; China; guanxi;

    JEL classification:

    • K22 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Business and Securities Law
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • P21 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Planning, Coordination, and Reform

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cbr:cbrwps:wp464. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ruth Newman and Georgie Cohen). General contact details of provider: http://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.