Legal Institutions and Economic Development

Thorsten Beck

in The Oxford Handbook of Capitalism

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780195391176
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Legal Institutions and Economic Development


This article focuses on the economic approach to institutions, looking at their role of supporting markets and exchange between economic agents, overcoming market frictions. The article is organized as follows. First, it defines legal institutions and presents different attempts at measuring them. Then, it surveys the historic, theoretical, and empirical literature that shows the importance of legal institutions for capitalism and economic development. It presents different theories of the divergence of legal institutions across countries and empirical evidence. The final section summarizes and looks forward.

Keywords: economic approach; legal institutions; economic agents; market friction; capitalism

Article.  18488 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Industry Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribeRecommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »