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Abstract

Law tradition of a country is associated with its institutional quality. Countries with a French Civil code tradition display a negative link with bureaucratic development, lack of corruption, credibility of governments and others. Results are maintained even after controlling for regional and colonial variables and, in general, appear robust. Countries with a Common Law tradition show a positive relationship with institutional quality, though not as robust when testing a broad range of specifications. These results are consistent with the hypothesis of Scully, Posner and others, that link origin of laws and economic behaviour. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.