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The DNA of a Market Economy explored in three public lectures at LSE

Professor Andrei Shleifer, Harvard University, will give this year's three annual Lionel Robbins Memorial Lectures, held at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), on Tuesday 25 to Thursday 27 January.

Market economies differ from each other in many fundamental ways: their legal systems, regulatory structures, levels of economic and political freedom, corruption in government, and so on. Professor Shleifer will explore these differences and ask are they systematic and, if so, can we understand them?

Tuesday 25 January - Transplantation By Conquest and Colonization

Economies are shaped by the know-how of local people, but also of those who arrive with new ideas. European conquerors and colonizers brought their know-how, including their legal systems, to other parts of the world. These crucial pieces of each economy's DNA continue to matter today, and allow for a systematic examination of differences among market economies.

Wednesday 26 January: Why Does Legal Origin Matter So Much?

Countries whose legal systems derive from different European traditions rely on systematically distinct strategies of social control of private life. Common law countries tend to rely on private contracting and ex post dispute resolution in courts; civil law - and particularly French civil law - countries on ex ante government regulation and oversight. Why are these differences so pervasive?

Thursday 27 January: Law and Finance

One striking difference among market economies is in their levels of financial development, with common law countries having larger private debt and equity markets than French civil law countries at the same level of development. What legal rules and enforcement mechanisms explain these patterns, and do they shed light on the meaning of legal origin?

Andrei Shleifer is (Whipple VN Jones) Professor of Economics at Harvard University. He is one of the leading American economists of his generation and in 1999 won the John Bates Clark medal for best economist under 40. He has written widely on economic institutions, including corporate governance and Russian privatisation.

The DNA of Market Economic is on Tuesday 25, Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27 January at 6pm in the Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE, Houghton Street, London WC2A. The events are free and open to all with no ticket required.


To reserve a press seat, please contact Jessica Winterstein, LSE Press Office, on 020 7955 7060 or email j.Winterstein@lse.ac.uk| stating which dates you would like to attend.

17 January 2005