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Access to Justice and Economic Development: Evidence from an International Panel Dataset

Author

Listed:
  • Arnaud Deseau

    (Université Saint-Louis - Bruxelles, CEREC)

  • Adam Levai

    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))

  • Michèle Schmiegelow

    (UCLouvain, CRIDES)

Abstract

We empirically investigate the impact of access to justice (ATJ) on GDP per capita growth in a panel of 83 countries from 1970 to 2014. Our analysis relies on a new database documenting the number of judges per capita as a proxy for capturing the cross-country evolution of ATJ. The proxy measures the extent to which disputes between economic actors can be resolved at a relatively low cost, without dysfunctional delay and discrimination. In a dynamic panel setting using internal instruments, we find that increasing ATJ by 1% increases the five-year growth rate of GDP per capita by 0.86 p.p. (0.17 p.p. annually) with diminishing marginal returns. In line with the diminishing marginal returns argument, we find that the effect of ATJ is two times smaller in Europe compared to other regions due to higher levels of ATJ. We find no evidence of a differential effect of ATJ across other regions, income levels, legal origins, democracy, corruption of the judicial system or human capital levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Arnaud Deseau & Adam Levai & Michèle Schmiegelow, 2019. "Access to Justice and Economic Development: Evidence from an International Panel Dataset," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2019009, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2019009
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Access to Justice; Legal development; Economic Development; Growth; Institution;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E02 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Institutions and the Macroeconomy
    • K00 - Law and Economics - - General - - - General (including Data Sources and Description)
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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