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Access to justice and entrepreneurship: evidence from Brazil’s Special Civil Tribunals

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  • Guilherme Lichand

    (Harvard University)

  • Rodrigo R. Soares

    ()
    (Department of Economics PUC-Rio)

Abstract

Entrepreneurship is usually indentified as an important determinant of aggregate productivity and long-term growth. The determinants of entrepreneurship, nevertheless, are not entirely understood. A recent literature has linked entrepreneurship to the development of the justice system. This paper contributes to this literature by evaluating the role of access to justice in determining the incidence of entrepreneurship. We explore the creation of Special Civil Tribunals in the Brazilian state of São Paulo during the 1990s. Special Civil Tribunals increased the geographic presence of the justice system, simplified judicial procedures, and increased the speed of adjudication of disputes. Using census data, and difference-in-differences and instrumental variable strategies, we find that implementation of Special Civil Tribunals led to increased entrepreneurship, defined as the probability that individuals are employers or selfemployed. Results are particularly strong and robust for the case of self-employment, and do not seem to be related to other changes in infrastructure or public good provision at the local level, or to pre-existing trends in entrepreneurship.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil) in its series Textos para discussão with number 591.

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Length: 39p
Date of creation: Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rio:texdis:591

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Keywords: access to justice; courts; entrepreneurship; institutions; Brazil Jel Codes: K1; K41; K42; H41; O12; O17; O54;

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  1. Luca Anderlini, Leonardo Felli & Andrew Postlewaite, 2003. "Courts of Law and Unforeseen Contingencies," Working Papers gueconwpa~03-03-26, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  2. Dilip Mookherjee & Sujata Visaria & Ulf Lilienfeld Toal, 2010. "The Distributive Impact of Reforms in Credit Enforcement: Evidence from Indian Debt Recovery Tribunals," Working Papers id:2613, eSocialSciences.
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  4. Ana Carla A. Costa & Joao M.P. De Mello, 2006. "Judicial Risk and Credit Market Performance: Micro Evidence from Brazilian Payroll Loans," NBER Working Papers 12252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Magda Bianco & Tullio Jappelli & Marco Pagano, 2001. "Courts and Banks: Effects of Judicial Enforcement on Credit Markets," CSEF Working Papers 58, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 09 Apr 2002.
  8. Maitreesh Ghatak & Nien-Huei Jiang, 2000. "A Simple Model of Inequality, Occupational Choice, and Development," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0007, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  9. Antunes, António & Cavalcanti, Tiago & Villamil, Anne, 2008. "The effect of financial repression and enforcement on entrepreneurship and economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 278-297, March.
  10. Erwan Quintin, 2008. "Contract enforcement and the size of the informal economy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 395-416, December.
  11. Naritomi, Joana & Soares, Rodrigo R. & Assunção, Juliano J., 2012. "Institutional Development and Colonial Heritage within Brazil," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(02), pages 393-422, June.
  12. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  13. Matthieu Chemin, 2007. "The Impact of the Judiciary on Entrepreneurship: Evaluation of Pakistan's Access to Justice Programme," Cahiers de recherche 0727, CIRPEE.
  14. Christiano Arrigoni Coelho & Bruno Funchal & João Manoel Pinho de Mello, 2010. "The Brazilian Payroll Lending Experiment," Textos para discussão 573, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  15. Pablo Casas-Arce & Albert Saiz, 2010. "Owning versus Renting: Do Courts Matter?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(1), pages 137-165, 02.
  16. Chemin, Matthieu, 2009. "Do judiciaries matter for development? Evidence from India," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 230-250, June.
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