Legal Foundations of Corporate Governance and Market RegulationEighth Paolo Baffi Lecture

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Bank of Italy - Rome, 27 November 2007

Many of the market regulations introduced in the first half of the twentieth century came in response to traumatic events, in particular the two world wars and the Great Depression. National choices varied in accordance with the legal system in place.

Countries with a civil law tradition enacted policies of state intervention in the economy and, in some instances, replaced the market with the state; those with a common law tradition adopted policies to sustain the market, enhancing its effectiveness but not curtailing its scope for action.

As a response to crisis, both types of policy worked well, but once the political and economic turmoil subsided, the more market-oriented policies proved to be more efficient.

Generally speaking, globalization and market integration are producing international convergence with the adoption of more market-oriented policies in civil law countries as well.