This paper provides a concise, selective review of research on the role of legal institutions in shaping the operation of financial systems. While a burgeoning literature finds that financial development exerts a first-order impact on economic growth, the law and finance literature seeks to understand the role of legal institutions in explaining international differences in financial systems. Considerable research dissects, critiques, and debates the influence of investor protection laws, the efficiency of contract enforcement, and private property rights protection on the effectiveness of corporate governance, the efficient allocation of capital, and the overall level of financial development. Furthermore, legal scholars, political scientists, historians, and economists are questioning and assessing the importance of historically determined differences in legal traditions in shaping national approaches to investor protection laws, contract enforcement, and property rights. The field of law and finance promises to be a contentious and important area of inquiry in coming years.
Why do some countries have growth-enhancing financial systems, while others do not? Why have some countries developed the necessary investor protection laws and contract-enforcement mechanisms to support financial institutions and markets, while others have not? This paper reviews existing research on the role of legal institutions in shaping financial development.
A burgeoning literature finds that financial development exerts a first-order impact on long-run economic growth, which raises critical questions, such as why do some countries have well-developed growth-enhancing financial systems while others do not? The law and finance theory focuses on the role of legal institutions in explaining international differences in financial development. First, the law and finance theory holds that in countries where legalsystems enforce private property rights, support private contractual arrangements, and protect the legal rights of investors, savers are more willing to finance firms and financial markets flourish. Second, the different legal traditions that emerged in Europe over previous centuries and were spread internationally through conquest, colonization, and imitation help explain cross-country differences in investor protection, the contracting environment, and financial development today. But there are countervailing theories and evidence that challenge both parts of the law and finance theory. Many argue that there is more variation within than across legal origin families. Others question the central role of legal tradition and point to politics, religious orientation, or geography as the dominating factor driving financial development. Finally, some researchers question the central role of legal institutions and argue that other factors, such as a competitive products market, social capital, and informal rules are also important for financial development. Beck and Levine describe the law and finance theory, along with skeptical and competing views, and review empirical evidence on both parts of the law and finance view.
Judicial System Reform,Legal Products,Gender and Law,Labor Policies,Legal Institutions of the Market Economy,Legal Products,Judicial System Reform,Legal Institutions of the Market Economy,National Governance,Gender and Law
In order to set up a list of libraries that you have access to,
you must first login
or sign up.
Then set up a personal list of libraries from your profile page by
clicking on your user name at the top right of any screen.