IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The impact of structural reforms of the judicial system: a survey


  • Ana Gouveia

    (GPEARI - Research and Economic Policy Division)

  • Sílvia Santos
  • Corinna Herber


This paper surveys the literature on the impact of structural reforms of the judicial system. We focus on two key types of reforms: those enhancing the overall efficiency of the system, in terms of quantitative outcomes; and those aiming at enhancing the bankruptcy regime. In the first branch, and given the way the existing literature is organized, we proceed in two steps. We first provide an overview of the studies linking judicial reforms with sectoral performance. We then elaborate on the effects of this improved performance on economic outcomes. In the second branch, we directly present the impact on economic outcomes, in particular concerning access to finance and investment. In a nutshell, reforms that increase courts’ size, increase spending on information and communication technologies (ICT), improve governance or foster education and training have a positive impact on judicial efficiency, which, in turn, promotes investment, ensures better credit and allows firms to thrive. Concerning bankruptcy regimes, there is evidence that a more efficient system is related with a lower cost of funding and a higher amount and length of credit in the economy and consequently with more investment, innovation and entrepreneurship. These empirical results highlight the relevance of promoting judicial system reforms, as a way to ensure sustained economic growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Ana Gouveia & Sílvia Santos & Corinna Herber, 2017. "The impact of structural reforms of the judicial system: a survey," GEE Papers 0064, Gabinete de Estratégia e Estudos, Ministério da Economia, revised Jan 2017.
  • Handle: RePEc:mde:wpaper:0064

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2017
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kee‐Hong Bae & Vidhan K. Goyal, 2009. "Creditor Rights, Enforcement, and Bank Loans," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(2), pages 823-860, April.
    2. Aloisio Araujo & Bruno Funchal & Rafael Ferreira, 2010. "The Brazilian Bankruptcy Law Experiment," Fucape Working Papers 23, Fucape Business School.
    3. Viral V. Acharya & Krishnamurthy V. Subramanian, 2009. "Bankruptcy Codes and Innovation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(12), pages 4949-4988, December.
    4. Araujo, Aloisio P. & Ferreira, Rafael V.X. & Funchal, Bruno, 2012. "The Brazilian bankruptcy law experience," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 994-1004.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Rodano, Giacomo & Serrano-Velarde, Nicolas & Tarantino, Emanuele, 2016. "Bankruptcy law and bank financing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 363-382.
    2. Bernardus Ferdinandus Nazar Van Doornik & Lucio Rodrigues Capelletto, 2015. "Collateral after the Brazilian Creditor Rights Reform," Working Papers Series 404, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
    3. Nazar van Doornik, B.F., 2015. "Essays on the behavior of foreign banks in Brazil," Other publications TiSEM 06586714-3b67-4f84-be4f-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    4. Jacopo Ponticelli & Leonardo S. Alencar, 2016. "Court Enforcement, Bank Loans, and Firm Investment: Evidence from a Bankruptcy Reform in Brazil," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(3), pages 1365-1413.
    5. Miguel García-Posada & Raquel Vegas, 2016. "Las reformas de la Ley Concursal durante la Gran Recesión," Working Papers 1610, Banco de España.
    6. Marco Bonomo & Ricardo Brito & Bruno Martins, 2014. "Macroeconomic and Financial Consequences of the After Crisis Government-Driven Credit Expansion in Brazil," Working Papers Series 378, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
    7. García-Posada Gómez, Miguel & Vegas Sánchez, Raquel, 2018. "Bankruptcy reforms in the midst of the Great Recession: The Spanish experience," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 71-95.
    8. Espenlaub, Susanne & Goyal, Abhinav & Mohamed, Abdulkadir, 2020. "The impact of shareholders and creditors rights on IPO performance: An international study," The British Accounting Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(1).
    9. Jens Matthias Arnold & Lisandra Flach, 2017. "Who Gains from Better Access to Credit? Credit Reform and Reallocation of Resources," CESifo Working Paper Series 6677, CESifo.
    10. Müller, Karsten, 2022. "Busy bankruptcy courts and the cost of credit," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(2), pages 824-845.
    11. Yaxuan Qi & Lukas Roth & John Wald, 2017. "Creditor protection laws, debt financing, and corporate investment over the business cycle," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 48(4), pages 477-497, May.
    12. Sadok El Ghoul & Omrane Guedhami & Chuck C Y Kwok & Ying Zheng, 2021. "The role of creditor rights on capital structure and product market interactions: International evidence," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 52(1), pages 121-147, February.
    13. González, Francisco, 2021. "Creditor rights and entrepreneurship: Evidence from legal changes," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 278-299.
    14. Rossi, Stefano & Yun, Hayong, 2015. "What Drives Financial Reform? Economics and Politics of the State-Level Adoption of Municipal Bankruptcy Laws," CEPR Discussion Papers 10984, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. González, Francisco, 2020. "Creditor rights, financial health, and corporate investment efficiency," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(C).
    16. Badev, Anton & Beck, Thorsten & Vado, Ligia & Walley, Simon, 2014. "Housing finance across countries : new data and analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6756, The World Bank.
    17. Saibal Ghosh, 2018. "Corporate investment and political federalism: does judicial efficiency matter?," Indian Economic Review, Springer, vol. 53(1), pages 263-285, December.
    18. Aloisio Araujo, 2015. "General equilibrium, preferences and financial institutions after the crisis," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 58(2), pages 217-254, February.
    19. Pablo N. D’Erasmo, 2016. "Access to Credit and the Size of the Formal Sector," Economía Journal, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA, vol. 0(Spring 20), pages 143-199, April.
    20. Awartani, Basel & Belkhir, Mohamed & Boubaker, Sabri & Maghyereh, Aktham, 2016. "Corporate debt maturity in the MENA region: Does institutional quality matter?," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 309-325.

    More about this item


    Structural reforms; judicial system; bankruptcy regimes; economic growth;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:mde:wpaper:0064. 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: . General contact details of provider: .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Joana Almodovar (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    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.