While there are many determinants as to what draws foreign direct investment (FDI) to developing countries such as macroeconomic conditions and political determinants, the focus here will be on judicial institutions. Depending on the quality of courts within developing countries, academic research shows that there exists variation in the amount of FDI received. Stable judicial institutions and legalism consist of adherence to rule of law, rational-legal enforcement, and efficient liberal courts. Data from the World Governance Indicator (WGI) that entails six dimensions of a quality judicial system is used to measure the judicial strength of the case study countries of interest: Chile, Panama, and Nicaragua. The data collected, which measured judicial strength is also accompanied by empirical research that focuses on outside companies and investor relationship in particular industries within the case study countries. The research findings uphold that judicial institutions and legalism impact FDI variation in developing countries.


Son, Byunghwan

Second Advisor

Leiby, Michele


International Relations


Business Organizations Law | Comparative and Foreign Law | Courts | International Business | International Law | Law and Economics | Natural Resources Law | Property Law and Real Estate | Rule of Law


judicial institutions, courts, law, rule of law, legalism, FDI, Chile, Panama, Nicaragua

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2014 Paul B. Thomas