Legal Institutions and Economic Development

T.H.L. Beck

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Legal institutions are critical for the development of market-based economies. This paper defines legal institutions and discusses different indicators to measure their quality and efficiency. It surveys a large historical and empirical literature showing the importance of legal institutions in explaining cross-country variation in economic development. Finally, it presents and discusses three different views of why we can observe the large cross-country variation in legal institutions, the social conflict, the legal origin and the culture and religion hypotheses.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
Number of pages72
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper


  • Legal institutions
  • economic development
  • legal system indicators
  • property rights


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