The Divergence of Legal Procedures
Djankov et al. (2003a) propose and measure for 109 countries in the year 2000 an index of formalism of legal procedure for two simple disputes: eviction of a non-paying tenant and collection of a bounced check. For a sub-sample of 40 countries, we compute this index every year starting in 1950, which allows us to study the evolution of legal rules. We find that between 1950 and 2000, the formalism of legal procedure did not converge, and possibly diverged, between common law and French civil law countries. At least in this specific area of law, the results are inconsistent with the hypothesis that national legal systems are converging, and support the view that legal origins exert long lasting influence on legal rules.
The authors are grateful to Nicola Gennaioli, Louis Kaplow, and Giacomo Ponzetto for comments. Country-level sources of data are available from the authors upon request. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Aron Balas & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2009. "The Divergence of Legal Procedures," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 138-62, August. citation courtesy of