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How Important is State Enforcement for�Trade?

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  • Peter T. Leeson

Abstract

According to conventional wisdom, state-provided contract enforcement is critical to an expansive, growing trade. This paper estimates state enforcement's impact on international trade for one hundred and fifty-seven countries over the last half a century. I find that state enforcement increases trade between nations by about fifteen to thirty-eight percent. This effect is significant though modest compared to intuition about the importance of government enforcement, the long-run growth of trade, and the estimated effect of trade's other determinants. Thus, while state enforcement appears to enhance trade, it does so less impressively than its status as essential for flourishing trade tends to suggest. Copyright 2008, Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/aler/ahn003
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal American Law and Economics Review.

Volume (Year): 10 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 61-89

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Handle: RePEc:oup:amlawe:v:10:y:2008:i:1:p:61-89

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Cited by:
  1. Leeson, Peter T. & Boettke, Peter J., 2009. "Two-tiered entrepreneurship and economic development," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 252-259, September.
  2. Leeson, Peter T., 2011. "Government, clubs, and constitutions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 301-308.
  3. Powell, Benjamin & Stringham, Edward, 2009. "Public choice and the economic analysis of anarchy: a survey," MPRA Paper 26097, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Adam C. Smith & David B. Skarbek & Bart J. Wilson, 2009. "Anarchy, Groups, and Conflict: An Experiment on the Emergence of Protective Associations," Working Papers 09-03, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  5. Prüfer, J., 2011. "On the Evolution of Collective Enforcement Institutions: Communities and Courts," Discussion Paper 2011-017, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
  6. Prüfer, J., 2012. "Business Associations and Private Ordering," Discussion Paper 2012-011, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
  7. Stringham, Edward Peter, 2011. "Embracing morals in economics: The role of internal moral constraints in a market economy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 98-109.

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