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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

    (Caltech)

  • Gilles Postel-Vinay

    (INRA Paris)

  • Jean-Laurent Rosenthal

    (and UCLA)

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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series UCLA Economics Working Papers with number 719.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 1994
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Handle: RePEc:cla:uclawp:719

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Web page: http://www.econ.ucla.edu/

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  1. 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.
  2. Edward J Green & Robert H Porter, 1997. "Noncooperative Collusion Under Imperfect Price Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1147, David K. Levine.
  3. Joseph Farrell and Nancy T. Gallini., 1987. "Second-Sourcing as a Commitment: Monopoly Incentives to Attract Competition," Economics Working Papers 8760, University of California at Berkeley.
  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. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Alberto Bennardo & Marco Pagano & Salvatore Piccolo, 2008. "Multiple-Bank Lending, Creditor Rights and Information Sharing," CSEF Working Papers 211, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 28 Jul 2010.
  3. 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.

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