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American Economic Journal: Economic Policy: Vol. 1 No. 2 (August 2009)

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The Divergence of Legal Procedures

Article Citation

Balas, Aron, Rafael La Porta, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, and Andrei Shleifer. 2009. "The Divergence of Legal Procedures." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 1(2): 138-62.

DOI: 10.1257/pol.1.2.138

Abstract

Simeon Djankov et al. (2003) introduce a measure of the quality of contract enforcement -- the formalism of civil procedure -- for 109 countries as of 2000. For 40 of these countries, we compute procedural formalism every year since 1950. We find that large differences in procedural formalism between common and civil law countries existed in 1950 and widened by 2000. For this area of law, the findings 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. (JEL K41, O17)

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Authors

Balas, Aron (Oliver Wyman Financial Services, London)
La Porta, Rafael (Dartmouth College)
Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio (EDHEC Business School, Nice)
Shleifer, Andrei (Harvard U)

JEL Classifications

K41: Litigation Process
O17: Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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