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What do Notaries do?. Overcoming Asymmetric Information in Financial Markets: The Case of Paris, 1751

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  • Philip T. Hoffman
  • Gilles Postel-Vinay
  • Jean-Laurent Rosenthal

Abstract

Using evidence from 18th century Paris, we explore how financial intermediaries resolved problems of asymmetric information in financial markets. The Parisian intermediaries were notaries, and after examining their role in asset markets, we develop a more general model of intermediaries' behavior and then test the model using a rich set of data from Paris. Institutions for disseminating information insured that intermediaries provided high quality service, and such institutions were central to the growth of asset markets in pre-industrial Europe.

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Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics.

Volume (Year): 154 (1998)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 499-

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Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(199809)154:3_499:wdnd_2.0.tx_2-h

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  1. Green, Edward J. & Porter, Robert H., 1982. "Noncooperative Collusion Under Imperfect Price Information," Working Papers 367, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  2. Joseph Farrell and Nancy T. Gallini., 1986. "Second-Sourcing as a Commitment: Monopoly Incentives to Attract Competition," Economics Working Papers 8618, University of California at Berkeley.
  3. Abreu, Dilip & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1986. "Optimal cartel equilibria with imperfect monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 251-269, June.
  4. Neal,Larry, 1994. "The Rise of Financial Capitalism," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521457385, April.
  5. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
  6. Greif, Avner, 1989. "Reputation and Coalitions in Medieval Trade: Evidence on the Maghribi Traders," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 857-882, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Bennardo, Alberto & Pagano, Marco & Piccolo, Salvatore, 2009. "Multiple-Bank Lending, Creditor Rights and Information Sharing," CEPR Discussion Papers 7186, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Kaire Põder, 2010. "Credible commitment and cartel: the case of the Hansa merchant in the guild of late medieval Tallin," Baltic Journal of Economics, Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies, vol. 10(1), pages 43-60, June.
  3. Benito Arruñada, 2007. "Market and institutional determinants in the regulation of conveyancers," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 93-116, April.

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