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Legal institutionalism: Capitalism and the constitutive role of law

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journal contribution
posted on 06.11.2018, 16:43 authored by Simon Deakin, David Gindis, Geoff Hodgson, Kainan Huang, Katharina Pistor
Social scientists have paid insufficient attention to the role of law in constituting the economic institutions of capitalism. Part of this neglect emanates for inadequate conceptions of the nature of law itself. Spontaneous conceptions of law and property rights that downplay the role of the state are criticized here, because they typically assume relatively small numbers of agents and underplay the complexity and uncertainty in developed capitalist systems. In developed capitalist economies, law is sustained through interaction between private agents, courts and the legislative apparatus. Law is also a key institution for overcoming contracting uncertainties. It is furthermore a part of the power structure of society, and a major means by which power is exercised. This argument is illustrated by considering institutions such as property and the firm. Complex systems of law have played a crucial role in capitalist development and are also vital for developing economies.

Funding

We thank the Economic and Social Research Council for financial support (ESRC grant ES/J012491/1, ‘Law, Development and Finance in Rising Powers’).

History

School

  • Loughborough University London

Published in

Journal of Comparative Economics

Volume

45

Issue

1

Pages

188 - 200

Citation

DEAKIN, S. ... et al, 2016. Legal institutionalism: Capitalism and the constitutive role of law. Journal of Comparative Economics, 45 (1), pp.188-200.

Publisher

Elsevier © Association for Comparative Economic Studies

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date

01/12/2014

Publication date

2016-04-11

Notes

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Elsevier under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

ISSN

0147-5967

Language

en

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