Law and Economics in the Civil Law World: The Case of Brazilian Courts

22 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2014 Last revised: 18 Nov 2014

See all articles by Mariana Pargendler

Mariana Pargendler

Fundação Getulio Vargas Law School at São Paulo; New York University School of Law; European Corporate Governance Institute

Bruno Meyerhof Salama

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law; Fundação Getulio Vargas Law School at São Paulo

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Date Written: October 24, 2014

Abstract

Conventional wisdom holds that economic analysis of law is either embryonic or nonexistent outside of the United States generally and in civil law jurisdictions in particular. Existing explanations for the assumed lack of interest in the application of economic reasoning to legal problems range from the different structure of legal education and academia outside of the United States to the peculiar characteristics of civilian legal systems. This paper challenges this view by documenting and explaining the growing use of economic reasoning by Brazilian courts. We argue that, given the ever-greater role of courts in the formulation of public policies, the application of legal principles and rules increasingly calls for a theory of human behavior (such as that provided by economics) to help foresee the likely aggregate consequences of different interpretations of the law. Consistent with the traditional role of civilian legal scholarship in providing guidance for the application of law by courts, the further development of law and economics in Brazil is therefore likely to be mostly driven by judicial demand.

Keywords: Law and economics; civil law; judicial empowerment

Suggested Citation

Pargendler, Mariana and Meyerhof Salama, Bruno, Law and Economics in the Civil Law World: The Case of Brazilian Courts (October 24, 2014). Stanford Law and Economics Olin Working Paper No. 471, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2514577 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2514577

Mariana Pargendler (Contact Author)

Fundação Getulio Vargas Law School at São Paulo ( email )

R. Rocha, 233, Bela Vista
São Paulo, 01330-000
Brazil

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

European Corporate Governance Institute ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

Bruno Meyerhof Salama

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law ( email )

2240 Piedmont Ave. Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Fundação Getulio Vargas Law School at São Paulo ( email )

R. Rocha, 233, Bela Vista
São Paulo, 01330-000
Brazil

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