77 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2021
Date Written: August 24, 2021
Thousands of studies document how laws spread around the world, but they typically focus on initial policy adoption and ignore later developments. We propose a conceptual typology to classify the three possible subsequent diffusion patterns: (1) convergence, when countries revise their laws to align more closely with leading regulators; (2) customization, when countries move their laws away from global models; and (3) stagnation, when countries cease passing new legislation in a given area. We hypothesize that, given adequate administrative capacity, convergence will predominate among countries that are geographically proximate to the main centers of regulation, while customization will occur more frequently in geographically distant countries. Stagnation will prevail in countries with low administrative capacity. We explore these predictions in the area of antitrust by combining quantitative analysis of antitrust laws from 1958 to 2010 and three case studies. Our findings confirm our predictions and suggest that diffusion processes have major long-term impacts.
Keywords: Comparative Law, Legal Diffusion, Diffusion, Antitrust Law, Competition Law, European Union
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