The John M. Olin Center

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31. Holger Spamann, Legal Origin, Civil Procedure, and the Quality of Contract Enforcement, 8/2009; subsequently published in Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, Vol. 166, March 2010, 149-165.

Abstract: This paper empirically compares civil procedure in common law and civil law countries. Using World-Bank and hand-collected data, and unlike earlier studies that used predecessor data sets, this paper finds no systematic differences between common and civil law countries in the complexity, formalism, duration, or cost of procedure in courts of first instance. The paper further finds that by a subjective measure, contract enforceability in common law countries is higher than in French, but lower than in German and Scandinavian, civil law countries. Given civil procedure’s central role for the common/civil law distinction, these findings challenge the distinction’s economic relevance.