"Commerce and manufactures can seldom flourish long in any state which does not enjoy a regular administration of justice, in which the people do not feel themselves secure in the possession of their property, in which the faith of contracts is not supported by law, and in which the authority of the state is not supposed to be regularly employed in enforcing the payment of debts from all those who are able to pay." Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, Book V, Chap. III.
Introduction: As the quotation from Adam Smith makes clear, economic development cannot occur in the absence of a stable legal system. The purpose of this course is two-fold. First, the course reviews some of the modern developments in economics that are relevant for the study of institutions. Second, it uses these tools to explore the structure of the law, and its impact upon economic performance. The goal is to provide a foundation for the understanding of legal institutions that goes beyond national boundaries, and can help better understand the challenges that rapid economic growth and globalization pose for policy makers.