Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Do legal origins matter? The case of bankruptcy laws in Europe 1808-1914

Abstract : Since the early 1997 paper by La Porta et al., a growing body of research has argued that 'legal origins' have a country-specific, time-invariant effect on property rights and economic development. Following the methodology of La Porta et al., an original database of 51 bankruptcy laws has been built: it ranges over 15 European countries and more than a hundred years (1808-1914), and summarises how the rights and incentives of the parties were defined as the procedures unfolded. The first conclusion is that, over the entire period, all legal traditions strongly protected creditors' rights; only English law comes out prima facie as less protective. Second, evidence suggests that the evolution of these laws was influenced less by their past than by continent-wide trends, arguably linked to capitalist development. An early nineteenth century model thus saw heavy repression of failed debtors and highly regulated judicial procedures. After a transition period from the late 1860s to the late 1880s, prison for debt was abandoned, rehabilitation became easier, and the parties were given much more room to recontract on property rights.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata

Cited literature [25 references]  Display  Hide  Download

https://hal-sciencespo.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01021354
Contributor : Spire Sciences Po Institutional Repository Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - 11:42:33 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 28, 2022 - 10:44:01 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, October 9, 2014 - 11:56:01 AM

File

sgard-ereh-2006.pdf
Explicit agreement for this submission

Identifiers

  • HAL Id : hal-01021354, version 1
  • SCIENCESPO : 2441/6824

Collections

Citation

Jérôme Sgard. Do legal origins matter? The case of bankruptcy laws in Europe 1808-1914. European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2006, pp.389-419. ⟨hal-01021354⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

63

Files downloads

413