Chapter of Book
legal origins, functionalism, law reform, legal systems, law and development, Doing Business reports
Comparative and Foreign Law | Law | Law and Economics | Public Law and Legal Theory
This article, written on request for the centennial issue of Ius Commune Europaeum, connects the economic literature on legal origins (La Porta et al) and the World Bank's Doing Business reports with discussions in comparative law about the functional method. It finds that a number of parallels and similarities exist, and that much of the criticism that has been voiced against functionalism should apply, mutates mutants, also to these more recent projects. The attraction that these projects have derive not, it is argued, from their methodological sophistication, but instead from "the strange lure of economics" and from the ostentatious objectivity of numbers and statistics.
Ralf Michaels, The Functionalism of Legal Origins, in Does Law Matter? On Law and Economic Growth 21-40 (100 Ius Commune Europaeum, Michael Faure & Jan Smits eds, 2011)