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Journal of Economic Literature: Vol. 46 No. 2 (June 2008)

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The Economic Consequences of Legal Origins

Article Citation

La Porta, Rafael, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, and Andrei Shleifer. 2008. "The Economic Consequences of Legal Origins." Journal of Economic Literature, 46(2): 285-332.

DOI: 10.1257/jel.46.2.285

Abstract

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.

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Authors

La Porta, Rafael (Dartmouth College)
Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio (EDHEC Graduate School of Management)
Shleifer, Andrei (Harvard U)

JEL Classifications

K10: Basic Areas of Law: General (Constitutional Law)
N40: Economic History: Government, War, Law, and Regulation: General, International, or Comparative


Journal of Economic Literature


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