The Economic Consequences of Legal Origins
In the last decade, economists have produced a considerable body of research suggesting that the historical origin of a country's laws is highly correlated with a broad range of its legal rules and regulations, as well as with economic outcomes. We summarize this evidence and attempt a unified interpretation. We also address several objections to the empirical claim that legal origins matter. Finally, we assess the implications of this research for economic reform.
We are grateful to Daniel Berkowitz, Olivier Blanchard, Simeon Djankov, Nicola Gennaioli, Roger Gordon, Oliver Hart, Katharina Pistor, students in Ec 2470, four reviewers, and especially Louis Kaplow for extremely helpful comments. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2008. "The Economic Consequences of Legal Origins," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(2), pages 285-332, June. citation courtesy of