Legal Origins

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Legal Origins

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Title: Legal Origins
Author: Glaeser, Edward Ludwig; Shleifer, Andrei

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Citation: Glaeser, Edward L., and Andrei Shleifer. "Legal Origins." The Quarterly Journal of Economics 117, no. 4 (2002): 1193-1229.
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Abstract: A central requirement in the design of a legal system is the protection of law enforcers from coercion by litigants through either violence or bribes. The higher the risk of coercion, the greater the need for protection and control of law enforcers by the state. Such control, however, also makes law enforcers beholden to the state, and politicizes justice. This perspective explains why, starting in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the relatively more peaceful England developed trials by independent juries, while the less peaceful France relied on state-employed judges to resolve disputes. It may also explain many differences between common and civil law traditions with respect to both the structure of legal systems and the observed social and economic outcomes.
Published Version: doi:10.1162/003355302320935016
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at
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