EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Culture, legal heritage and the regulation of labor

James Ang () and Per Fredriksson ()

Journal of Comparative Economics, 2018, vol. 46, issue 2, 616-633

Abstract: According to cross-cultural psychologists, cross-country differences in individualism vs. collectivism constitute an important dimension of cultural variation. Legal-economic theorists argue that legal philosophies such as common law and civil law have developed differently over centuries and have persistent effects. In this paper, we argue that the effects of culture and institutions should not be analyzed in isolation from each other, as this disregards their interactions. We merge the two separate literatures on cultural attributes and legal origin theories, and derive a hypothesis regarding their joint effects on labor market regulations. We hypothesize that the effect of individualism on the political determination of labor regulations should be particularly pronounced in more market-oriented economic systems (as in British common law countries) compared to more rigid and bureaucratic state-centered systems (as in French civil law countries). Market oriented economies give individual effort and ability greater room to flourish, which in individualistic cultures yields weaker labor regulations. The effect of individualism should be smaller in state centered systems. Using data on the average rigidity of labor regulations during the years 1950–2004 in 86 countries, we find that the negative effect of individualism on the rigidity of labor regulations is enhanced by the presence of a common law legal system. In fact, individualism has no effect on the rigidity of labor market regulations in civil law countries. Analogously, the negative effect of common law legal origin on labor market regulations is found to be conditional on the level of individualism. Individualism and common law legal systems are complements in the determination of labor regulations.

Keywords: Individualism; Culture; Legal origins; Institutions; Labor market regulations (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K23 O30 O40 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0147596717300926
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:46:y:2018:i:2:p:616-633

Access Statistics for this article

Journal of Comparative Economics is currently edited by D. Berkowitz and G. Roland

More articles in Journal of Comparative Economics from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dana Niculescu ().

 
Page updated 2019-04-14
Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:46:y:2018:i:2:p:616-633