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Contract Enforcement in the Early Transition to a Market Economy

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Author Info

  • Jeffrey B. Miller

    ()
    (Department of Economics,University of Delaware)

  • Kenneth Koford

Abstract

How were contracts among firms enforced in the early phase of a transition economy when firms lacked experience with commercial contracts or legal procedures? What were their views of their new business environment? We interviewed a sample of Bulgarian firms, including private, state-owned and cooperative firms in 1994. Consistent with Williamson’s (1994) theories, complex contracts were quite limited, sometimes implying the breakdown of important markets, but we also found that even spot-market contracts had severe problems of bilateral dependency. Having been "burned" in previous transactions, firms were very cautious in dealing with new potential trading partners and tried to work closely with trustworthy counterparts. These results are consistent with Klein, Crawford and Alchian’s (1978) theory.

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File URL: http://graduate.lerner.udel.edu/sites/default/files/ECON/PDFs/RePEc/dlw/WorkingPapers/2005/UDWP2005-11.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Delaware, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 05-11.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dlw:wpaper:05-11

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Fax: (302) 831-6968
Web page: http://www.lerner.udel.edu/departments/economics/department-economics/
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Keywords: Bulgaria; contract enforcement; contract institutions; contract law; legal institutions;

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References

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  1. Klein, Benjamin, 1996. "Why Hold-Ups Occur: The Self-Enforcing Range of Contractual Relationships," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(3), pages 444-63, July.
  2. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-58, December.
  3. Simon Johnson & John McMillan & Christopher Woodruff, 2000. "Entrepreneurs and the Ordering of Institutional Reform: Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Russia and Ukraine Compared," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 8(1), pages 1-36, March.
  4. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1768, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    • La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1998. "Law and Finance," Scholarly Articles 3451310, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    • Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, . "Law and Finance," Working Paper 19451, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    • Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," NBER Working Papers 5661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Blanchard, Olivier & Kremer, Michael R., 1997. "Disorganization," Scholarly Articles 3659691, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Simon Johnson & John McMillan, 2002. "Courts and Relational Contracts," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 221-277, April.
  7. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
  8. Gray, C.W., 1993. "Evolving Legal Frameworks for Private Sector Development in Central and Eastern Europe," World Bank - Discussion Papers 209, World Bank.
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Cited by:
  1. Jeffrey B. Miller & Stoyan Tenev, 2005. "State and Ownership Reforms in Transition Economics: China vs. the Orthodoxy," Working Papers 05-10, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.

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