A Macrohistory of Legal Evolution and Coevolution: Property, Procedure, and Contract in Pre-Industrial English Caselaw
Peter Grajzl, Peter Murrell ,
International Review of Law & Economics

We provide a quantitative macrohistory of the evolution and coevolution of three fundamental elements of English caselaw: property, contract, and procedure. Our dataset is derived from a
comprehensive corpus of reports on pre-1765 English court cases. Leveraging existing topic-model estimates, we construct annual time series of attention to each of the three legal
domains and estimate a structural VAR. Property and procedure are affected for decades by their own shocks. Procedure and property coevolve. In contrast, contract adjusts quickly to its own

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