Wednesday, December 7, 2011


J. David Brown, US Census Bureau Center for Economic Studies, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Heriot-Watt University - Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation (CERT), John S. Earle, George Mason University - School of Public Policy, Central European University (CEU) - Department of Economics, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), and Scott Gehlbach, University of Wisconsin, Madison - Department of Political Science, Harvard University - Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies have a new piece on Privatization.

ABSTRACT: In this paper prepared for inclusion in the Oxford Handbook of the Russian Economy (Michael Alexeev and Shlomo Weber, eds.), we replicate, update, and extend our earlier work on manufacturing enterprise privatization and productivity in Russia. Our results suggest a more nuanced view of Russian privatization than that offered by either its critics or its defenders. We confirm earlier findings that the average impact on productivity of privatization to domestic owners is around -3 to -5 percent, though some regions show productivity gains similar to those in Central Europe (an increase of 10 to 20 percent). The regional variation is strongly positively associated with the size of the regional bureaucracy. Notwithstanding the average negative effect, our updated results through 2005 (the most recent year for which comparable data are available) show a pronounced change after 2002 as the productivity effects of Russian privatization have begun to approach those seen elsewhere much earlier. Privatization became most effective west of the Urals, in areas with greater market access. Initially an outlier, by 2005 Russia appeared to be becoming more of a “normal country,” at least in the narrow sense of the impact of private ownership on firm productivity.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Do Victims of War Need International Law? Human Rights Education Programs in Sudan

Mark Fathi Massoud (McGill Law) has a new article, Do Victims of War Need International Law? Human Rights Education Programs in Sudan. It examines contemporary programs in law and development in authoritarian and war-torn contexts. The paper is based on nearly 18 months of field research in Sudan, since 2005.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Research Agenda for Development Economics

Esther Duflo

, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics has an interesting paper on A Research Agenda for Development Economics.

Development economics has grown tremendously in the last fifteen years. It can continue to grow and improve in the next decades by focusing on three areas. First, revitalizing the tradition of applied theory which transformed development economics in the 1980s and 1990s, by giving us a better understanding of how poverty shapes individual options. A new wave of applied theoretical work is needed, to incorporate recent empirical findings that have revealed the limits of the earlier theoretical framework. Second, continue expanding and improving empirical work, in particular experimental work. More ambitious, potentially more expensive experiments, should be conducted. Third, expanding theoretical and empirical work on the aggregate consequences of micro-level distortions, themselves identified by the new theoretical and the empirical work to be done under the first and second areas of focus.

Challenges for Social Sciences: Institutions and Economic Development

Daron Acemoglu,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics has a great overview piece on Challenges for Social Sciences: Institutions and Economic Development.

Why some countries are much poorer than others is one of the oldest questions in social science. It will also be one of the most challenging and important questions in the next several decades. This is for several reasons. First, despite spectacular growth in per capita incomes in much of the world during the 20th century, the gaps between rich and poor countries, rather than abating, have expanded. This pattern is challenging to most of our theories because many of the barriers to the spread of prosperity have disappeared: ideas travel around the world almost instantaneously, and any nation should today be able to easily copy any economic or social practice that it wishes; various impediments to trade in goods and to financial flows and foreign direct investments have largely disappeared. But the wide gaps in incomes and living standards remain. Second, these gaps have meant that while the rich world has become richer, poverty, disease and social injustice are still widespread in many parts of the world, notably in much of sub-Saharan Africa, in parts of South Asia and in various pockets of poverty in the Caribbean and Central America.

Challenging though these issues may be, we are now much better equipped to understand, and perhaps work towards redressing, the causes of these widespread disparities. Much of the progress on this issue has been made in economics (see Acemoglu, 2009, for an overview), but the next step will require us to combine the insights and tools developed in economics with perspectives from other social sciences.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

“Law and Development at the Microlevel: From Microtrade to Current Issues in Law and Development” (December 10, 2011, Seattle University School of Law

The 2011 Law and Development Institute Conference

“Law and Development at the Microlevel: From Microtrade to Current Issues in Law and Development”

(December 10, 2011, Seattle University School of Law)

The Law and Development Institute (LDI,, established in Sydney, Australia, promotes law and development agendas, conducts relevant academic research, and provides forums for academic exchanges in law and development. Twenty-eight leading scholars and professionals from several countries are currently participating in the LDI. The LDI held the inaugural conference in Sydney on October 16, 2010 (, which was promoted globally and attended by over one hundred scholars, lawyers, students, and government officials from several countries.

The LDI, in conjunction with Seattle University School of Law, holds its second annual conference in law and development on December 10, 2011, at Seattle University School of Law (Student Center, "LeRoux Room"). Eighteen leading speakers from nine countries, including U.S.A., Canada, Japan, Korea, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, United Kingdom, and India, are scheduled to present key issues on international trade, investment and finance, and least-developed countries from the perspective of law and development. On-line registration will be required for conference attendance. The updated conference schedule, speakers’ biographical information, and presentation summaries are available on the Seattle University School of Law website

( On-line registration is required for conference attendance (

Conference Program

Morning Sessions

8:30 – 9:00 Reception and Registration

9:00 – 9:10 Opening remark by Professor Y.S. Lee, Director of the Law and Development Institute

9:10 – 9:20 Welcome speech by Professor Mark Niles, Dean, Seattle University School of Law

9:20 – 9:30 Keynote speech by Professor Antonio Garcia-Padilla, former President, University of Puerto Rico

Panel Presentation

9:30-11:00 Microtrade I


Professor David Gantz, University of Arizona School of Law


Professor Y.S. Lee, The Law and Development Institute

“Microtrade: An Overview”

Professor Farid Shirazi, Ryerson University, Canada

“Canada: Virtual Bazaar: An E-Commerce Model to help Microtrade in Least Developed Countries”

Dr. Arpita Gupta, Jindal Global Law School, India

“International Microtrade Regime – Structure and Financing”

Professor Andreas Neef, Kyoto University, Japan

“Community-Based Microtrade in Support of Small-Scale Farmers in Thailand and Tanzania”

11:00-11:15 Coffee Break

11:15-12:30 Microtrade II


Professor Y.S. Lee, The Law and Development Institute


Professor Jae Min Lee, Ewha Woman’s University, Korea

“Microtrade as Reflected in DDA”

Professor Colin Picker, University of New South Wales, Australia

“Microtrade and the Legal Cultural Considerations”

Dr. Prapanpong Khumon, University of Thai Chamber of Commerce, Thailand

“Microtrade and the Fair Trade Movement”

12:30 – 1:30 Lunch break

Afternoon Sessions

1:30 – 3:20 Investment and Development Finance


Professor Caf Dowlah, City University of New York


Professor Sophie Smyth, Temple University School of Law

“Multilateral Development Finance”

Professor Christine Hurt, University of Illinois School of Law

“Securitization, Reckless Credit and Systemic Risk: Microfinance Meets Bubble Regulation”

Professor David Gantz, University of Arizona School of Law

“Investor-State Conflicts for Developing Countries”

Professor Perry Bechky, Seattle University School of Law

“Microinvestment Disputes”

Professor Jiangyu Wang, National University of Singapore, Singapore

“Regulating Investment and Financial Liberalization”

3:20 – 3:35 Coffee break

3:35 – 5:50 Least-Developed Countries


Professor Colin Picker, University of New South Wales School of Law, Australia


Professor Maureen Irish, University of Windsor School of Law, Canada

“Climate Change and LDCs”

Professor Alan Tomkins, U.S. State Department and University of Nebraska

“USA: Food Shortage in LDCs”

Dr. Deming Liu, New Castle University School of Law, U.K.

“Bonding Requirement for LDC Investments”

Professor Caf Dowlah, City University of New York

“Labor Sending LDCs”

Ms. Cynthia Howson, University of London SOAS, U.K.

“Women’s Smuggling in Senegal”

Professor Ruth Gordon, Villanova University School of Law, USA

“China’s Rising Influence in Africa”

5:50 - 6:00 Ending Remarks

Monday, August 22, 2011

What is Law and Development?

Mariana Prado (Toronto Law) asks What is Law and Development?

ABSTRACT: Law & Development studies have been growing in the past few years, after having its death declared in the 1070s. There is, however, very little clarity as to what this field of study encompasses or whether it is a field at all. Under the label of Law & Development one can find a wide variety of studies, approaches, analyses and topics. Some studies focus on formal institutions, discussing how enforcement of contracts, protection of property rights, and an independent judiciary protect investors and improve economic growth in developing countries. Others have not focused on economic development, but instead on how laws to protect women from abuses in the family and to create quotas to guarantee their participation in the public sphere have been largely ineffective due to deeply embedded social norms and value that cannot be changed by legislation (at least not from one day to the next). Still others have criticized the Law & Development discourse as another source of imperialism and dominance that justify senseless legal transplants from the North to the South.

What brings all these studies together under one label? What is it that one should know, if one is looking for a concise summary of what this field of study encompasses? These are the questions that I will try to answer in this essay. The read should be forewarned that the title may be slightly misleading, as the paper will not provide comprehensive and conclusive answers to the question “What is Law & Development?” but hopefully it will offer a starting point for a deeper inquiry. Most importantly, I hope readers will take this as an invitation to explore this field in greater depth.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Interesting new article by Don Clarke

Donald C. Clarke, George Washington University Law School has posted ‘Nothing But Wind’? The Past and Future of Comparative Corporate Governance.

ABSTRACT: Corporate law scholarship has come a long way since Bayless Manning some four decades ago famously pronounced it dead. Not only has doctrinal scholarship continued its project of critique and rationalization, but empirical and economic approaches have injected new life into the field.

Recent years have seen the rise of comparative corporate governance (CCG) as an increasingly mainstream approach within the world of corporate governance studies. This is a function partly of an increasing international orientation on the part of legal scholars and partly of an increasingly empirical turn in corporate law scholarship generally. Different practices in other jurisdictions present at least the possibility of natural experiments that attempt to find causal relationships between particular features of a corporate governance regime and real-world outcomes. This body of research has become particular relevant as we enter the second decade of the twenty-first century. The financial crisis has called into question many of our traditional ways of thinking about corporate governance and the relationship between business enterprises and the state. Are there other countries that do it better?

This article discusses what is unique about CCG as an approach to corporate governance studies. It begins by examining the concepts of corporate governance and comparative corporate governance, making the point that comparative corporate governance has in general been focused on agency problems between shareholders and managers but need not be so. It then looks at methodological issues in comparative corporate governance, critiquing in particular economic Darwinist theories and the failure of theories of international competition in corporate governance to incorporate the notion of comparative advantage. Finally, it reviews major lessons learned from this body of work and suggests direction for future research. Among other things, it calls for more comparative research into alternative business entities dubbed “uncorporations” by Larry Ribstein and into corporate governance in increasingly important economies such as China and India.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Stiglitz is Rethinking Development Economics

Joe Stiglitz has published a short paper titled Rethinking Development Economics in the World bank Research Observer. See here.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Empirical Evidence on Satisfaction with Privatization in Latin America

This article is interesting.

Empirical Evidence on Satisfaction with Privatization in Latin America
World Bank Econ Rev 2011.

Céline Bonnet*,
Pierre Dubois†,
David Martimort‡ and
Stéphane Straub§
↵§Stéphane Straub (corresponding author), Toulouse School of Economics (ARQADE and IDEI), Tel: (33) 561128529,

↵* Celine Bonnet, Toulouse School of Economics (GREMAQ, INRA),

↵† Pierre Dubois, Toulouse School of Economics (GREMAQ, INRA, IDEI),

↵‡ David Martimort, Paris School of Economics,


Since the 1980s, privatization of formerly state-owned firms has been extensively implemented by governments across Latin America. Despite the fact that most evaluations of the process fail to find significant adverse efficiency and welfare effects, there has been a strong surge in public discontent with such policy in the region. This paper performs a systematic empirical analysis of the determinants of such dissatisfaction, using survey data from Latinobarometro covering 17 countries over the period 1998-2008, complemented by country level data on macroeconomic, political, and institutional aspects as well as data on privatization. Dissatisfaction appears to respond to absolute and relative welfare effects, and we find a robust U-shaped effect in term of education and income levels, with individuals in the middle of such distributions being more critical with the outcome of privatizations.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Legal Institutions, Innovation and Growth

This paper looks interesting.

Legal Institutions, Innovation and Growth

LUCA ANDERLINI, Georgetown University - Department of Economics
LEONARDO FELLI, London School of Economics - Department of Economics, CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research), Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
GIOVANNI IMMORDINO, Università degli Studi di Salerno - Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF)
ALESSANDRO RIBONI, University of Montreal - Department of Economics
We analyze the relationship between legal institutions, innovation and growth. We compare a rigid (law set ex-ante) legal system and a flexible one (law set after observing current technology). The flexible system dominates in terms of welfare, amount of innovation and output growth at intermediate stages of technological development - periods when legal change is needed. The rigid system is preferable at early stages of technological development, when (lack of) commitment problems are severe. For mature technologies the two legal systems are equivalent. We find that rigid legal systems may induce excessive (greater than first-best) R&D investment and output growth.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Risk, Institutions and Growth: Why England and Not China?

There is a new and interesting paper by Avner Grief of Stanford's Economics Department, Risk, Institutions and Growth: Why England and Not China?

ABSTRACT: We analyze the role of risk-sharing institutions in transitions to modern economies. Transitions require individual-level risk-taking in pursuing productivity-enhancing activities including developing, adopting, and using new knowledge. Individual-level, idiosyncratic risk implies that distinct risk sharing institutions - even those providing the same level of insurance - can lead to different growth trajectories if they differently motivate risk-taking. Historically, risk sharing institutions were selected based on their cultural and institutional compatibility and not their unforeseen growth implications.

We simulate our growth model incorporating England's and China's distinct pre-modern risk-sharing institutions. The model predicts a transition in England and not China even with equal levels of risk sharing. Under the clan-based Chinese institution, the relatively risk-averse elders had more control over technological choices implying lower risk-taking.

Focusing on non-market institutions expands on previous growth-theoretic models to highlight that transitions can transpire even in the absence of exogenous productivity shocks or time-dependent state variables. Recognizing the role of non-market institutions in the growth process bridges the view that transitions are due to luck and the view that transitions are inevitable. Transitions transpire when 'luck' creates the conditions under which economic agents find it beneficial to make the choices leading to positive rates of technological change. Luck came in the form of historical processes leading to risk-sharing institutions whose unintended consequences encouraged productivity-enhancing risk-taking.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Call for Papers: 2011 Law and Development Institute Conference

The Law and Development Institute (LDI, is pleased to announce a call for paper proposals for the 2011 annual conference, entitled, "Law and Development at the Microlevel: From Microtrade to Current Issues in Law and Development". The conference will be co-hosted with Seattle University School of Law on December 10, 2011. The LDI calls for papers on any aspect of microtrade, which is a new system of international trade designed to alleviate populations of least-developed countries of extreme poverty (for a concept paper, see, as well as for papers on other law and development issues that can be considered broadly at the "micro level", including but not limited to: microfinance, microinsurance, green growth and development, etc.

Paper proposals should be limited to a 500 word abstract, which must be received by June 30 at the latest. Accepted conference papers should be completed by November 15 for circulation among the participants in advance of the conference. All proposals must be sent by email to the Law and Development Institute, (with a cc to The paper proposals will be peer-reviewed by members of the editorial board of the Law and Development Review ( It is anticipated that paper selection will be completed by July 31, 2011. The selected authors will be invited to present their papers at the Conference. The conference venue is Seattle University School of Law, located in Seattle, United States. The invited speakers are expected to cover their own expenses to attend the conference.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Call for Papers: Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) conference to be held 20-22 October 2011

Submissions are due 30 May 2011 for the upcoming Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) conference to be held 20-22 October 2011. The theme is "Capitalism and the Common Good"

The call can be found here:

Keynote Speaker:

B.S. Chimni (Centre for International Legal Studies School of International Studies Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Confirmed speakers include:

- Antony Anghie (Samuel D. Thurman Professor of Law at the University of Utah)
- Tayyab Mahmud (Professor of Law and Director, Center for Global Justice at Seattle University School of Law)
- Balakrishnan Rajagopal (Associate Professor of Law and Development and Director, MIT Program on Human Rights and Justice at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Publication Opportunities:

Select papers will be published in the Oregon Review of International Law. We are also investigating the possibility of a TWAIL book volume.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Law and Development Perspective on International Trade Law

There is an interesting new book out on Law and Development Perspective on International Trade Law (Cambridge University Press)

Edited by: Yong-Shik Lee, The Law and Development Institute, Sydney
Edited by: Gary Horlick, Georgetown University Law Center
Edited by: Won-Mog Choi, Ewha Womans University School of Law, Seoul
Edited by: Tomer Broude, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

BOOK ABSTRACT: Economic development is the most important agenda in the international trading system today, as demonstrated by the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) adopted in the current multilateral trade negotiations of the World Trade Organization (the Doha Round). This book provides a relevant discussion of major international trade law issues from the perspective of development in the following areas: general issues on international trade law and economic development; and specific law and development issues in World Trade Organization, Free Trade Agreement and regional initiatives. This book offers an unparalleled breadth of coverage on the topic and diversity of authorship, as seventeen leading scholars contribute chapters from nine major developed and developing countries, including the United States, Canada, Japan, China (including Hong Kong), South Korea, Australia, Singapore and Israel.

Contributors: Yong-Shik Lee, Tomer Broude, Bryan Mercurio, Maureen Irish, Faizel Ismail, Gary Horlick, Katherine Fennell, Andrew Mitchell, Joanne Wallis, Moche Hirsch, Mitsuo Matsushita, Anthony Cassimatis, Colin Picker, Caf Dowlah, Young-Ok Kim, Hye Seong Mun, Xiaojie Lu

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Law and Development Review Special Issue (2011): The Law and Development Institute 2010 Inaugural Conference

The 2011 Law and Development Review Special Issue is devoted to the Law and Development Institute Inaugural Conference entitled, “Future of Law and Development, International Trade and Economic Development”, which was held in Sydney, Australia, on the 16th of October, 2010.

Yong-Shik Lee

Export Promotion Policies, Export Composition and Economic Development of Korea
Jai S. Mah

WTO Rules and Agricultural Development Cooperation between Developed and Developing Countries
Won-Mog Choi

International Trade and Development Law: A Legal Cultural Critique
Colin Picker

Special and Differential Treatment, Trade and Sustainable Development
Maureen Irish

International Development Disputes
Tomer Broude

Law and Development in the Islamic World: New Possibilities
Salim Farrar

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Call for Papers: 15th Annual Meeting of the Latin American and Iberian Law and Economics Association

The 15th Annual Meeting of the Latin American and Iberian Law and Economics Association will be held on a Wednesday and Thursday, August 3-4th, and the Course for Judges on the following Friday and Saturday, August 5-6th, at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana at Bogota D.C., Colombia.

ABOUT THE CONFERENCE he meeting will bring together top scholars from Latin America and around the world to ntribute to the development of the field of Law and Economics.

SUBMISSIONS Those interested in presenting a paper are invited to submit an electronic copy of the final paper (Word or PDF) or an at least two pages long outline attached to an e‐mail message to and Papers can be submitted either in English,
Spanish or Portuguese. Proposals should also include an abstract in English; keywords; JEL classification; and contact nformation, including author’s complete name, e‐mail, telephone, postal address and current academic or professional position.
The submission deadline is April 1st, 2011.
Papers may be on any topic in or related to Law and Economics with particular emphasis on: 1. Experimental Law and Economics 2. International Law and Economics; 3. Property, including Intellectual Property; 4. Torts; 5. Contracts; 6. Corporate Law and Economics and Corporate Governance; 7. Criminal Law and Law Enforcement; 8. Legal Rule‐making, including Litigation; 9. Market and Non‐market Regulation; 10. Law and Public Policy; 11. Behavioral Law and Economics; 12. Constitutional Law and Economics; including Discrimination; 13. Bankruptcy and Financial Regulation; 14. Law and Development; 15. Trade Law; 16. Energy Law; 17. Environmental Law; 18. The economics of Family, sex, discrimination; 19. Antitrust and regulation. 20. Comparative Law and Economics; 21. Social security and Economic Analysis of Law; 22. Taxes and welfare state; 23. The law and conomics of labor and employment 24. Law and development; 25. Political Economy and Public Choice; 26. International trade; 27. Public and Administrative law and economics.

Papers will be selected by a committee appointed by the ALACDE. Its members will not be allowed to submit papers to the meeting.

Acceptance of proposals will be communicated to authors by May 6th, 2011. Authors whose papers are accepted should be available to comment on other papers presented during the eeting. A final electronic version of the accepted papers must be sent to the local organizers 3pm
by Junerd, 2011. Papers will then be available at And will be ublished in the book of the Center of Studies of Economics and the Law –CEDE of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana.

Additional information about the meeting may be found at the websites In case you need further details, please do not hesitate to contact the organization committee at

ALACDE PRIZES Selected papers can apply for the ALACDE Prizes if the applicant is a scholar in a Latin American or Caribbean country, regardless of his nationality. Applicant to the prize cannot be art of the board, or the local organization committee. All prizes will be given to papers with a Law & Economics approach. he Organization Committee will be in charge of determining the selected papers for the izes. The prizes will be announced at the end of the meeting.

ORGANIZATION COMMITTEE Alfredo Bullard ‐ Rafael Mery – Andrew Guzman ‐ Fernando Castillo Cadena – Carlos Pablo árquez Escobar – Alfonso Miranda Londoño

Monday, January 31, 2011

Symposium on Global Law and its Exceptions: Globalization, Legal Transplants, Local Reception and Resistance

Symposium on Global Law and its Exceptions: Globalization, Legal Transplants, Local Reception and Resistance
Friday, February 25, 2011
Program Information
Has there emerged such a thing as "Global Law"? The symposium will explore the idea that there is emerging in almost every field a core of law which we can call "Global Law" which is influencing domestic legal evolutions in particular ways. At the same time, there are areas of law which have traditionally staved off "global influences" such as family law which appear to be fair game in this round of "Global Law." This symposium will consider this emerging "Global Law", what is driving it and how the new phase of globalization of law is transforming legal education, practice and legal doctrines. In particular, the symposium will ask if the generation, circulation and entrenchment of global modes of legal consciousness which undergird the development of this "Global Law" serve to entrench and reproduce existing social (and legal) hierarchies or whether it can be harnessed as a site for producing greater social and political participation and equity. In other words, is it possible that "Global Law" can play both a universalizing (and hegemonic) function as well as a critical (and emancipatory) function?

The theme of this symposium has been at least fifteen years in the making. In 1996 the Utah Law Review hosted a much noted symposium on "New Approaches to Comparative Law." The conference considered whether there was a materialist catalyst in the renewed interest in Comparative Law seen in the 1990s. Inspired, in part, by the work of Gunter Frankenberg, the conference sought to locate the role of Comparative Law in the expansion of capitalist market economics and liberal political structures. The conference spawned a new generation of "critical" comparative legal scholarship. Fifteen years later, much has happened in the field. The "much" that has happened is reflected, at UW School of Law, in our increasingly contested inclusion of "Comparative and International Law" as a compulsory first year course. The Utah Conference articulated itself as both

CLE Credits:
This program has been approved for 6.50 General CLE Credits.
For information regarding CLE credits in other states, contact UW CLE at 206.543.0059 or 800.253.8648.

Pre-registration is required. Please register by February 18, 2011.
Conference without CLE credits: Free
Conference with CLE credits: $50 for CLE course materials

Accommodations for Disabilities:
The University of Washington is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation, contact the Disability Services Office at least ten days in advance at: 206.543.6450/V, 206.543.6452/TTY, 206.685.7264/fax, or email

Questions? Please contact UW CLE at 206.543.0059 or 800.253.8648; Email: