Law of Business and Economic and Social Development

The Law of Business and Economic and Social Development line of research is characterized by the study of the normative field that rules the business and economic environment. Economic activities do not occur spontaneously, but are formed and organized from legal and institutional conformity, according to the context of each country and its international effects. Therefore, how norms and legal institutions shape economic relations internationally and in each country is central to understanding the flourishing of markets and business activity, by stimulating some sectors, and overcoming the eventual economic inequality and obstacles to innovation, among other possible goals.

The study of the legal structuring of the Brazilian business environment includes, on one hand, the understanding and evaluation of the private economic sphere. This includes the organization and effectiveness of contractual relations, the legal discipline of the company, corporate governance and corporate social responsibility, the democratization of the capital market, the protection and delimitation of property and its social function, and the mechanisms for repairing damages and transnational economic relations. On the other hand, the line also addresses the forms of state intervention in the economy, such as the mechanisms of economic regulation, including sectorial regulation, the defense of competition, and the entrepreneurial action of the state through state-owned companies and public banks. In both cases, comparative research and research on the international regulatory environment are an important part of the program's teaching and student production, promoting advances and discoveries central to Brazilian Law, often in close dialogue with the history and current events in the field of Law and Development.

Law as a tool for economic development

Learn about this research line of Business and Economic and Social Development Law of the Master and PhD programs of FGV Sao Paulo Law School with professors Carlos Ary Sundfeld, Eurico Diniz de Santi, Mário Gomes Schapiro, Michelle Ratton Sanchez Badin and Viviane Müller Prado.

Research Projects 

Regulatory Alternatives and Development Governance

This project aims at mapping and evaluating the different regulatory alternatives that shape the public policies associated to the promotion of development, with  the hypothesis that different regulatory tools present several comparative advantages for ruling the numerous types of public policies.  

Coordination: Professor Mario Schapiro

The Relation between the Developmental State and the Regulatory State

This project analyzes the relations established between the developmental state and the regulatory state. The developmental state is understood as an institutional configuration characteristic of countries in the South of the globe (developing nations), whose model has governed  the economic organization in these countries. As general features, it makes discretionary decisions, suggests public involvement in private accumulation, and a public intervention for reaching economic results defined by bureaucracy. The regulatory State, in turn, is an institutional configuration originally established in the North of the globe (developed nations), but has spread to developing countries since 1990. Its main characteristics are the establishment of relations that are less susceptible to discretion and more prone to institutional formalization, and a distribution of roles between normative functions, in charge of the State; and the functions of economic operation, in charge of individuals. In developed countries, the regulatory State was conceived as an alternative to the so-called entrepreneurial state. In southern countries, however, the literature pointed to the reconciliation between developmental and regulatory arrangements. Based on the assumption of this reconciliation, this project intends to analyze its unfolding on financial regulation, especially the performance of public banks.

Coordination: Professor Mario Schapiro

Legal Institutions of Capitalism in an Economic and Comparative Perspective

This project investigates the origins and economic consequences of legal institutions central to modern capitalism, such as the contract and the corporation, as well as their evolution over time, in order to understand better the relationship between legal regulation and the organization of economic and social systems. The research follows two main lines: (i) we examine the degree of diversity and uniformity in the legal discipline of different countries, as well as the determining factors in its formatting, and (ii) we evaluate the effects of the different arrangements for economic and social development. The project dialogues with the literature on law and economics, law and development, comparative law, and corporate governance, as well as with Brazilian dogmatic studies on the corporate and contractual field. It is intended to contribute to both Brazilian and international literature by studying the peculiarities of institutional arrangements prevalent in developing countries in general, and in Brazil in particular — peculiarities that are usually neglected not only abroad, but also in national legal production, in the absence of a comparative direction. Furthermore, it seeks to identify explanatory and determining factors for the evolution of law that, although important, have escaped the radar of Anglo-Saxon scholars. From a methodological point of view, we chose the interdisciplinary approach, through the use of methods of comparative law and law and economics . The empirical data to be examined include historical sources, court decisions, contractual practices, legislation, and economic and institutional indicators, both Brazilian and international.

For the professor’s  studies in this project, see her page on the SSRN website.

Coordination: Professor Mariana Pargendler

Legal Heterodoxy in the Global South

This project investigates how the institutional context of developing countries has changed basic elements of the legal dogmas of institutions that are central to the modern economy, such as contract law and corporate law, among other fields. Specifically, it examines to what extent (i) we observe a greater inequality in developing countries; and (ii) how deficiencies in state capacity change the structure and functioning of fundamental legal institutions, a phenomenon that has been neglected by the literature on law and development

Coordination: Professor Mariana Pargendler

Current Law and Economics

This project investigates the current contours of the academic movement of Law and Economics in the world and in Brazil. We examine the historical evolution and current transformation of the Law and Economics literature, by covering what we call “the rise and fall of the modularity approach (compartmentalization)” in Law and Economics. The project also seeks to analyze concretely the uses of Law and Economics in Brazilian courts, taking into account the legal (including constitutional), economic and social characteristics of the country.

Coordination: Professor Mariana Pargendler

Economic and Legal Fundamentals of the Theory of the Firm and Legal Personality

The project seeks to advance the examination of the legal contours and economic foundations of the theory of the firm and legal personality. There are several economic theories of the firm, but there are relevant tensions between them. On the other hand, the economic analysis of legal personality approaches a legal attribute exclusively, the separation of assets, neglecting other legal aspects and their economic relevance. Here, the aim is to investigate the important function of regulatory separation provided by personification, as well as the economic function of regulatory disregard concerning controlling shareholders.

Coordination: Professor Mariana Pargendler

Institutions and Enforcement

This project aims to study legal and market institutions, in order to produce data and analysis on the effectiveness of legal rules related to Business Law. The studies address the institutional design, regulation, monitoring, and sanctioning activities of the competent institutions - alone or in a coordinated way. It also seeks to understand the use of sanctioning legal instruments and compensation or indemnity of losses. We intend to assess the effectiveness of the relevant normative body for economic and social development, as well as to understand its shortcomings.

Coordination: Professor Viviane Muller Prado

Capital Market Law and Development

What is the role of Law in the development of the capital market and its function of financing economic agents? Based on this question, this project intends to reflect on the influence of regulation on the development of the capital market, and the improvement of the Brazilian regulatory model. The aspiration  of having a strong capital market capable of channeling private savings directly to financing national companies has been in the history of Brazilian economic policies since the 1960s. The use of Law as an instrument of building this market gave rise to the necessary regulatory marks for the development of our financial system and the capital market, but with a role that deserves better understanding and evaluation, in light of the changes observed in agents, instruments, and services created in recent decades.

Coordination: Professor Viviane Muller Prado

Business Law and Development

This project studies the normative field that rules the business environment. The circulation and distribution of wealth occur in a sphere largely regulated by law, where legal norms and institutions contribute or discourage economic and social development, as well as affect how different groups appropriate the wealth produced in a given society s. The research carried out in this project seeks to contribute to understanding legal mechanisms related to sustainable development.

Coordination: Professor Viviane Muller Prado

Public Law and Development: Governance, Control, and Economic Management

The project discusses the new legal conformity of the actions of public administration and of private agents that interact with it. The environment where these interactions take place is becoming more complex, and it is necessary to understand their reasons, effects, and legal challenges. On the one hand, it is of special interest to discuss governance solutions related to public management, as well as the structures, strategies, and limits of the performance of public controllers, especially the Judiciary Power and account controllers. Their impact capacity has grown, with potential risks for the coordination of public actions and the legal security of public and private agents. On the other hand, the competencies for State action and intervention  in the economy and its normative peculiarities are of interest, as well as its instruments (administrative regulation, public-private infrastructure contracts, and contracting processes) and their limits. The main research materials are norms (laws, regulations, contracts, etc.) and legal decisions that are linked to it, in the administrative, judicial, and controlling spheres. The general objective is to contribute for improving governance, control, and economic administration.

Coordination: Professor Carlos Ari Sundfeld

Legal Argumentation in Higher Courts

The project aims to investigate whether and to what extent the constitutional requirement to substantiate judicial decisions can be a mechanism for democratic control of the Judiciary’s exercise of power. It starts from the theoretical debate on argumentation and investigates the relationship between argumentative reasoning and the legitimacy of decisions. For this, we will analyze judicial decisions of the higher courts.

Coordination: Professor Flávia Püschel

Rewriting Decisions from the Feminist Perspective

The project is inspired by projects of rewriting feminist judgments that have already been developed in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. It aims to identify court decisions in fields traditionally related to "the women's issue" in law, such as domestic violence, but also fields normally considered gender-neutral, such as contracts and civil liability. We will carry out a systematic analysis of their arguments and, in the future, rewrite such decisions from a perspective that puts women at the center, and do so from exclusively feminist findings and theories. It is an exercise of (re)imagining the law and exploring its potential, when false neutrality is openly removed and, with it, the biases (conscious or not) that make the law an instrument of women’s subordination. The objective is not only to deconstruct, by criticizing the legal and jurisprudential framework, but also to reconstruct, by exploring new conceptual possibilities and contributing to build fields of legal dogma that take into account the experiences of women living the law.

Coordination: Professor Flávia Püschel

Law and Brazil Economic Relations: Empirical Evidence in Contrast

This project aims to understand the role of law in increasing economic relations between Brazil and other partner countries, to which Brazil has increased its trade and investment flow in recent years. Ongoing research looks specifically at Angola and China as economic partners. For this purpose, we consider different regulatory levels, from international agreements to national rules and legal instruments of a contractual nature, especially financing.

This project has 3 axes:

1) The use of empirical qualitative research techniques in the field of Law, including interviews and discourse analysis by data analysis software (Atlas. TI).

2) The study of specific cases that cross the areas of trade, investment, and financing, especially large infrastructure construction and public services in the energy area.

3) The dialogue with the literature on law and development for concepts and categories of International Economic Law, based on the example of economic relations involving countries from the Global South in the international economic system, and non-traditional instruments of modern International Law.

Coordination: Professor Michelle Sanchez Badin in collaboration with professor Fábio Morosini (UFRGS)

International Law and Criticisms: (Re)Contextualization of Brazil

This project aims to review critically biased literature on international law, and stimulate the dialogue with Brazilian production in the field, to allow reinterpretations of constitutive elements of the theory and the dogmatics of international law in Brazil. Also, in this space, by using empirical tools, we make an attempt to map the profile of the Brazilian community that articulates and influences International Law.

Coordination: Professor Michelle Sanchez Badin in interinstitutional partnership with professors Arthur Capella (IRI/USP) and Fabio Morosini (UFRGS)

The Current Economic Analysis of Law and Empirical Legal Studies

This project investigates legal norms and institutions capable of fostering or hindering economic and social development through their effects on individual behavior, by applying the Economic Analysis of Law and the development of empirical legal studies. It starts from a model of individual behavior that considers not only material incentives but also individual preferences that comprise phenomena observed and repeatedly verified empirically, such as individual aversion to losses, guilt, inequality, and violations of moral and social norms. The legal norm can change material incentives, as studied in the Economic Analysis of Law for decades, but it also interacts with such preferences, in a way that the practical and real result can often be more complex, or even contrary to what was intended, or predicted by strictly rational choice models. The project is interdisciplinary and, although with a clear focus on Economic Analysis of Law, it dialogues with Psychology, Sociology, and Cognitive Sciences. It seeks to identify determining factors of individual actions and behaviors regulated by law, and to test their effects empirically, through studies, experiments, and surveys carried out in the laboratory, online, or in the field, with real legal practitioners such as judges, lawyers, witnesses, or arbitrators. The ultimate goal is to provide contributions to understanding and predicting how people respond to legal norms with different contents, as well as using them to design legal reforms and public policies that are more likely to achieve their goals, to foster economic and social development, and to maximize social well-being.

Coordination: Professor Sergio Mittlander

Corruption, Democracy, and Development

This project develops socio-legal and interdisciplinary research on corruption and its control policies, exploring its various interfaces with economic and social development. Despite being a contemporary debate, corruption remains a persistent and difficult problem to solve around the world, sometimes leading to disenchantment with the results of reforms and actions taken to control it. Researchers and policymakers around the world are urged to “reform reforms”. Therefore, it is necessary to re-examine the relationship between corruption and development, as a way to relaunch diagnoses and solutions, based on the expansion of its object, its form of regulation, and the actors involved. First, it seeks to look beyond the universe of bribes, observing phenomena such as nepotism, fraud, conflict of interest, undue influence, among others. Likewise, in addition to punishment, we examine policies for prevention, participation, transparency, and monitoring, that is, the legal-institutional complex that supports corruption control policies in the domestic and transnational spheres. Finally, we highlight the role of legal entities and civil society as recipients of corruption regulation, and as influential voices in its conformation.

Coordination: Professor Raquel Pimenta