When and how do a handful of states or nations take on outsized legal significance through legislation aimed at specific subjects? For example, jurisdictions with legislation focused on corporate law (Delaware) or legislation focused on outlier tax rates (tax whore nations and states, such as Bermuda, Ireland or Florida).  Do the outlier jurisdictions become dominant  because national or international standards are really out of touch, and they are smarter than all others ? Or, at the other end of a range, is dominance sought and achieved  because some jurisdictions need to create industry because they lack in physical size, natural resources and other sources of economic well being?  That is, do the outlier jurisdictions become outliers because they have little else to offer the world. The author uses the term MDSJ’s to refer to the outlier jurisdictions. The term stands for “market-dominant small jurisdiction” (MDSJ).”

A working draft of ongoing scholarly research by Christopher Bruner suggests the answer is more about the latter than the former. The ongoing work is summarized and linked in a June 11, 2014 blog post at ConglomerateThe author has a series of conclusions, all of which should be read. However, it is telling that Mr. Bruner begins with the following finding/observation:

” MDSJs are small and poorly endowed in natural resources, limiting their economic development options.  This creates a strong incentive to innovate in law and finance, while rendering credible their long-term commitment to the innovations undertaken.  These jurisdictions substantially depend on their legal and financial structures, and the market knows it.”