Research and publications

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, that authors compute this index every year starting in 1950, which allows them to study the evolution of legal rules. They 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. A revisited version of this paper was published in the August 2009 issue of The Amercian Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Author(s) :

Aron Balas, Rafael La Porta, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, Andrei Shleifer

Summary :

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, that authors compute this index every year starting in 1950, which allows them to study the evolution of legal rules. They 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. A revisited version of this paper was published in the August 2009 issue of The Amercian Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

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Type : Working paper
Date : 02/04/2008
Keywords :

Corporate Governance