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Legal Protection in Retail Financial Markets

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  • Bruce I. Carlin
  • Simon Gervais

Abstract

Given the importance of sound advice in retail financial markets and the fact that financial institutions outsource their advice services, what legal rules maximize social welfare in the market? We address this question by posing a theoretical model of retail markets in which a firm and a broker face a bilateral hidden action problem when they service clients in the market. All participants in the market are rational, and prices are set based on consistent beliefs about equilibrium actions of the firm and the broker. We characterize the optimal law within our modeling context, and derive how the legal system splits the blame between parties to the transaction. We also analyze how complexity in assessing clients and conflicts of interest affect the law. Since these markets are large, the implications of the analysis have great welfare import.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14972.

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Date of creation: May 2009
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Publication status: published as Legal Protection in Retail Financial Markets (with Simon Gervais). Review of Corporate Finance Studies 1: 68-108, 2012.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14972

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  1. repec:reg:wpaper:631 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Georgarakos, Dimitris & Inderst, Roman, 2011. "Financial advice and stock market participation," Working Paper Series, European Central Bank 1296, European Central Bank.
  3. Agrawal, Ashwini K., 2009. "The Impact of Investor Protection Law on Corporate Policy: Evidence from the Blue Sky Laws," MPRA Paper 16351, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Hackethal, Andreas & Inderst, Roman & Meyer, Steffen, 2010. "Trading on Advice," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 8091, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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