Category Archives: Law and Development

‘Planning law is not property: Sea level change in Queensland’

“Queensland’s Infrastructure Minister, Jeff Seeney, has ordered a local government authority to remove from its regional plan any references to climate change induced sea level rise. The stated objective of this directive is ‘to ensure residents’ rights to build and develop their properties were maintained and not restricted by their local council’. The Minister confirmed […]

Shitong Qiao, ‘Planting Houses in Shenzhen: A Real Estate Market Without Legal Titles’

Abstract: Can a real estate market operate without legal titles? The answer has conventionally been no. But in Shenzhen, the iconic city of China’s market economy, an opposite phenomenon exists: half of the buildings within the city, which has 1,993 square kilometers of land and over 10 million people, have no legal titles and have […]

Gunther Teubner and Qi Chunyi, ‘Multiple Modernities: An Alternative to Western Economists’ Recommendations for China’s Private Law’

Abstract: The article criticizes the recent World Bank report, “China 2030” which formulates a new development strategy for China to rebalance the role of government and market, private sector and society. The report deals explicitly with the role that private law should play as means of economic modernization. The main thesis of this article is […]

Claudia Williamson, ‘Contracting Institutions’

Abstract: Property rights institutions, including contract enforcement, are recognized as a fundamental determinant to economic performance. However, understanding how to secure property remains elusive. This paper attempts to provide a theoretical framework and empirical analysis to unpack the black box of property rights. The framework entails distinguishing between private and public protection and subsequent enforcement […]

Garoupa and Morriss, ‘The Fable of the Codes: The Efficiency of the Common Law, Legal Origins, and Codification Movements’

Abstract: The superior efficiency of the common law has long been a staple of the law and economics literature. Generalizing from this claim, the legal origins literature uses cross-country empirical research in an attempt to demonstrate this superiority by examining economic growth rates and the presence of common-law legal systems. We argue that this literature […]

Garoupa and Liguerre, ‘The efficiency of the common law: The puzzle of mixed legal families’

Abstract: Many legal economists suggest that the common law system spurs more economic growth than the civil law system. The legal origins movement popularized this theory. From the perspective of such literature, the existence of hybrid, pluralist or mixed legal jurisdictions is a puzzle. Why has civil law persisted while common law is more efficient? […]

Voigt and Gutmann, ‘Turning Cheap Talk into Economic Growth: On the Relationship Between Property Rights and Judicial Independence’

Abstract: Among economists, the view that precisely defined and reliably enforced property rights are generally conducive to economic growth has been quasi-unanimous. But recently, some authors have argued that the relationship is more complex than previously acknowledged: property rights reforms might, for example, not per se lead to increases in observed growth rates. This paper […]

Emily Kadens, ‘The Myth of the Customary Law Merchant’

Abstract: Legal scholars from many disciplines — including law and economics, commercial law, and cyber law — have for decades clung to the story of the so-called law merchant as unassailable proof that private ordering can work. According to this story, medieval merchants created a perfect private legal system out of commercial customs. As this […]

Larry DiMatteo, ‘An “All of the above” theory of legal development’

Abstract: … This paper will review a number of theories of legal development with a focus upon Henry Sumner Maine’s progression thesis and Nathan Isaacs’ cycle theory. Contract law will provide the area to be tested by the different theories of legal development. Other theories to be discussed include: evolutionary efficiency, evolutionary biology, and Kuhnian […]