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History matters, but how? An example of Ottoman and Habsburg legacies and judicial performance in Romania

  • Mendelski, Martin
  • Libman, Alexander

The paper examines the interdependence of historical legacies and current contextual factors as determinants of economic and political performance. It shows that behavioral patterns based on identical legacies could lead to very different (if not the opposite) results in regions with different contextual socioeconomic characteristics. Specifically, the paper compares the demand for litigation as an important aspect of judicial performance in two different historical and cultural regions of Romania, which have been in the past under indirect Ottoman rule and part of the Habsburg Empire respectively. Although Romania is currently a centralized state with common judicial system, both parts of the country inherited substantially different legacies from the history. We find that while in rich regions Habsburg legacy leads to higher demand for litigation than the Ottoman, in poor regions the situation is reversed. The results remain robust for various specifications, controls and estimation techniques.

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Paper provided by Frankfurt School of Finance and Management in its series Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series with number 175.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:fsfmwp:175
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  1. Landes, William M, 1971. "An Economic Analysis of the Courts," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 61-107, April.
  2. Avner Greif & Steven Tadelis, 2010. "A Theory of Moral Persistence: Crypto-Morality and Political Legitimacy," Discussion Papers 09-028, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  3. Oliver E. Williamson, 2000. "The New Institutional Economics: Taking Stock, Looking Ahead," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 595-613, September.
  4. Sascha O. Becker & Katrin Boeckh & Christa Hainz & Ludger Woessmann, 2016. "The Empire Is Dead, Long Live the Empire! Long‐Run Persistence of Trust and Corruption in the Bureaucracy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(590), pages 40-74, 02.
  5. Daron Acemoglu & Tarek A. Hassan & James A. Robinson, 2011. "Social Structure and Development: A Legacy of the Holocaust in Russia," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 895-946.
  6. Olsson, Ola, 2009. "On the democratic legacy of colonialism," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 534-551, December.
  7. Katharina Pistor, 2002. "The Demand for Constitutional Law," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 73-87, March.
  8. Grosjean, Pauline, 2011. "The institutional legacy of the Ottoman Empire: Islamic rule and financial development in South Eastern Europe," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-16, March.
  9. de Melo, Martha & Denizer, Cevdet & Gelb, Alan & Tenev, Stoyan, 1997. "Circumstance and choice : the role of initial conditions and policies in transition economies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1866, The World Bank.
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