IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/9379.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Law and Finance: Why Does Legal Origin Matter?

Author

Listed:
  • Thorsten Beck
  • Asli Demirguc-Kunt
  • Ross Levine

Abstract

New research suggests that cross-country differences in legal origin help explain differences in financial development. This paper empirically assesses two theories of why legal origin influences financial development. First, the political' channel stresses that (i) legal traditions differ in the priority they give to the rights of individual investors vis-…-vis the state and (ii) this has repercussions for the development of property rights and financial markets. Second, the adaptability' channel holds that (i) legal traditions differ in their ability to adjust to changing commercial circumstances and (ii) legal systems that adapt quickly to minimize the gap between the contracting needs of the economy and the legal system's capabilities will foster financial development more effectively than would more rigid legal traditions. We use historical comparisons and cross-country regressions to assess the validity of these two channels. We find that legal origin matters for financial development because legal traditions differ in their ability to adapt efficiently to evolving economic conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirguc-Kunt & Ross Levine, 2002. "Law and Finance: Why Does Legal Origin Matter?," NBER Working Papers 9379, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9379
    Note: IFM LE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w9379.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Wurgler, Jeffrey, 2000. "Financial markets and the allocation of capital," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 187-214.
    3. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 2000. "Investor protection and corporate governance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 3-27.
    4. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Legal Origins," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1193-1229.
    5. Stijn Claessens & Luc Laeven, 2003. "Financial Development, Property Rights, and Growth," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(6), pages 2401-2436, December.
    6. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2003. "Courts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 453-517.
      • Simeon Djankov & Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, "undated". "Courts," Working Paper 19471, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    7. Robert G. King & Ross Levine, 1993. "Finance and Growth: Schumpeter Might Be Right," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 717-737.
    8. Levine, Ross & Zervos, Sara, 1998. "Stock Markets, Banks, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 537-558, June.
    9. repec:hrv:faseco:30747191 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
    11. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2000. "The Great Reversals: The Politics of Financial Development in the 20th Century," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 265, OECD Publishing.
    12. Ross Levine, 1997. "Financial Development and Economic Growth: Views and Agenda," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 688-726, June.
    13. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Cristian Pop-Eleches & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "The Guarantees of Freedom," NBER Working Papers 8759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. 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.
    15. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Courts: the Lex Mundi Project," NBER Working Papers 8890, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Bailey, Martin J. & Rubin, Paul H., 1994. "A positive theory of legal change," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 467-477, December.
    17. Berkowitz, Daniel & Pistor, Katharina & Richard, Jean-Francois, 2003. "Economic development, legality, and the transplant effect," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 165-195, February.
    18. Stulz, Rene M. & Williamson, Rohan, 2003. "Culture, openness, and finance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 313-349, December.
    19. Asli Demeirgüç-Kunt & Ross Levine (ed.), 0. "Finance and Growth," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 17119.
    20. Ross Levine & Norman Loayza & Thorsten Beck, 2002. "Financial Intermediation and Growth: Causality and Causes," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Leonardo Hernández & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Se (ed.),Banking, Financial Integration, and International Crises, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 2, pages 031-084, Central Bank of Chile.
    21. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294.
    22. Pistor, Katharina & Keinan, Yoram & Kleinheisterkamp, Jan & West, Mark D., 2003. "Innovation in corporate law," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 676-694, December.
    23. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez‐de‐Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 2000. "Agency Problems and Dividend Policies around the World," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(1), pages 1-33, February.
    24. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Levine, Ross, 2003. "Law, endowments, and finance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 137-181, November.
    25. 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.
    26. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 2003. "Tropics, germs, and crops: how endowments influence economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 3-39, January.
    27. Levine, Ross, 1999. "Law, Finance, and Economic Growth," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 8(1-2), pages 8-35, January.
    28. Rafael La porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 2002. "Investor Protection and Corporate Valuation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(3), pages 1147-1170, June.
    29. North, Douglass C. & Weingast, Barry R., 1989. "Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 803-832, December.
    30. repec:hrv:faseco:30747163 is not listed on IDEAS
    31. Marco Pagano & Paolo Volpin, 2001. "The Political Economy of Finance," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(4), pages 502-519.
    32. Johnson, Simon & Boone, Peter & Breach, Alasdair & Friedman, Eric, 2000. "Corporate governance in the Asian financial crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 141-186.
    33. Beck, Thorsten & Levine, Ross & Loayza, Norman, 2000. "Finance and the sources of growth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 261-300.
    34. Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Vojislav Maksimovic, 1998. "Law, Finance, and Firm Growth," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(6), pages 2107-2137, December.
    35. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    36. Mahoney, Paul G, 2001. "The Common Law and Economic Growth: Hayek Might Be Right," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 503-525, Part I Ju.
    37. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Maksimovic, Vojislav, 1999. "Institutions, financial markets, and firm debt maturity," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 295-336, December.
    38. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance, entrepreneurship and growth: Theory and evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 513-542, December.
    39. Levine, Ross, 1998. "The Legal Environment, Banks, and Long-Run Economic Growth," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 30(3), pages 596-613, August.
    40. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Levine, Ross, 1999. "A new database on financial development and structure," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2146, The World Bank.
    41. repec:hrv:faseco:30747160 is not listed on IDEAS
    42. Robert Cooter & Lewis Kornhauser & David Lane, 1979. "Liability Rules, Limited Information, and the Role of Precedent," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 366-373, Spring.
    43. Himmelberg, Charles P. & Hubbard, R. Glenn & Love, Inessa, 2002. "Investor protection, ownership, and the cost of capital," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2834, The World Bank.
    44. Beck, Thorsten & Levine, Ross, 2002. "Industry growth and capital allocation:*1: does having a market- or bank-based system matter?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 147-180, May.
    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. Thorsten Beck & Ross Levine, 2008. "Legal Institutions and Financial Development," Springer Books, in: Claude Ménard & Mary M. Shirley (ed.), Handbook of New Institutional Economics, chapter 11, pages 251-278, Springer.
    2. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirguc-Kunt, 2005. "Law and Firms' Access to Finance," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 211-252.
    3. Ross Levine, 2005. "Law, Endowments and Property Rights," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 61-88, Summer.
    4. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Levine, Ross, 2003. "Law, endowments, and finance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 137-181, November.
    5. Djankov, Simeon & Glaeser, Edward & La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2003. "The new comparative economics," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 595-619, December.
    6. Meghana Ayyagari & Asli Demirgüc-Kunt & Vojislav Maksimovic, 2008. "How Well Do Institutional Theories Explain Firms' Perceptions of Property Rights?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 1833-1871, July.
    7. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Levine, Ross, 2001. "Law, politics, and finance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2585, The World Bank.
    8. Una Okonkwo Osili & Anna L. Paulson, 2004. "Institutional quality and financial market development: evidence from international migrants in the U.S," Working Paper Series WP-04-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    9. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Levine, Ross & Maksimovic, Vojislav, 2000. "Financial structure and economic development - firm, industry, and country evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2423, The World Bank.
    10. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirguc‐Kunt & Luc Laeven & Ross Levine, 2008. "Finance, Firm Size, and Growth," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(7), pages 1379-1405, October.
    11. 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.
    12. Levine, Ross, 2002. "Bank-Based or Market-Based Financial Systems: Which Is Better?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 398-428, October.
    13. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli, 2006. "Finance and economic development : policy choices for developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3955, The World Bank.
    14. Allen, Franklin & Qian, Jun & Qian, Meijun, 2005. "Law, finance, and economic growth in China," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 57-116, July.
    15. Morck, Randall & Deniz Yavuz, M. & Yeung, Bernard, 2011. "Banking system control, capital allocation, and economy performance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 264-283, May.
    16. Beck, Thorsten & Lundberg, Mattias & Majnoni, Giovanni, 2006. "Financial intermediary development and growth volatility: Do intermediaries dampen or magnify shocks?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(7), pages 1146-1167, November.
    17. Morganti, Patrizio & Garofalo, Giuseppe, 2019. "Reassessing the law, finance, and growth nexus after the recent Great recession," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 229-250.
    18. Allen, Franklin & Chakrabarti, Rajesh & De, Sankar & Qian, Jun “QJ” & Qian, Meijun, 2012. "Financing firms in India," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 409-445.
    19. Caprio, Gerard & Laeven, Luc & Levine, Ross, 2007. "Governance and bank valuation," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 584-617, October.
    20. Una Okonkwo Osili & Anna L. Paulson, 2006. "What can we learn about financial access from U.S. immigrants?," Working Paper Series WP-06-25, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
    • K2 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:nbr:nberwo:9379. 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: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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.