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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Research Recap: Can information improve the functioning of courts?


Countries where courts are weak, and rights are poorly enforced, tend to be countries with worse economic outcomes. To better understand the relationship between the functioning of judicial systems and economic growth, Dal Bó and Finan (2020) reviewed available evidence and constructed a framework for understanding the role of institutions in economic development. They note that despite the importance of the courts in resolving disputes, facilitating a healthy business climate, and protecting citizen rights, we have seen very little empirical evidence to show what makes courts function more fairly and quickly. Dal Bó and Finan systematically outlined open questions to encourage researchers to address these gaps. This helped launch the EDI programme as part of a Path-Finding Paper series. The goal of the Economic Development and Institutions (EDI) programme, an investment generously funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), is to build a body of evidence and insights into the impact of institutional changes on economic growth.

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