The Law BusinessmanTM : Five Essays on Legal Self-efficacy and Business Risk

Abstract: The thesis challenges the notion of effectiveness of law as being based on the formal institutions of courts, law enforcement and written law. It argues that the best way to measure the effectiveness of law is the legal self-efficacy of laymen who are the end users of law.  It presents a new perspective on the effectiveness of law. It turns the traditional perspective of studying the effects of legal institutions around and instead studies the effect of how individuals perceive their own ability to use law. This self-reflexive ability - legal self-efficacy -  is the answer to the question “How comfortable are with communicating with legal terminology?”. The thesis makes several comparisons using the traditional perspective and legal self-efficacy and finds that legal self-efficacy is a better measure of legal effectiveness.This thesis analyzes 246 businesspeople in Russia and their risk behavior  with regards to economic transactions in relation to legal self-efficacy.  The theory behind legal self-efficacy is a combination of Luhmann’s theory of law as communication and Bandura’s concept of self-efficacy.  The first paper applies the traditional approach. It analyzes the effect of legal efficiency on leverage and debt maturity for listed and non-listed companies. The second paper is describes the conceptual foundation of the legal effectiveness based on the individual. The third paper compares the effect of private order (including legal self-efficacy) and public order institutions on the granting of trade credit.  The fourth paper analyzes the impact of legal self-efficacy and formal legal institutions on sanctions against clients in a comparative perspective. The final paper seeks out possible sources of legal self-efficacy.Legal self-efficacy can be used to better understand the interaction of individuals and law including such fields of research as behavioral accounting, behavioral law and finance, legal sociology and legal studies.