IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/ecopol/v31y2019i2p240-292.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Transaction costs and economic growth under common legal system: State‐level evidence from Mexico

Author

Listed:
  • Rok Spruk
  • Mitja Kovac

Abstract

This paper examines the contribution of administrative and procedural transaction costs to economic growth under common legal system. We show that administrative and procedural costs vary quite a lot even within the institutional environment sharing the common legal system. States with low‐cost business registration, low‐cost access to property rights and greater judicial efficiency tend to have consistently higher growth. The established effects are robust to alternative model specifications, heterogeneity bias, and to a variety of control variables that might confound the effects of administrative and procedural costs on growth. Such differences in costs are far from being trivial as we show that these within‐system differences might be instrumental in influencing economic growth. Lower administrative and procedural costs induce growth by increasing investment rate, lowering unemployment rate, encouraging labor supply and improving total factor productivity. In the counterfactual scenario, the transition from high‐cost to low‐cost regime is associated with substantial growth and development gains over time. By exploiting the variation in the disease environment, ethnic fractionalization and historical urbanization, we show that the negative effect of rising procedural and administrative costs on growth and development appears to be causal.

Suggested Citation

  • Rok Spruk & Mitja Kovac, 2019. "Transaction costs and economic growth under common legal system: State‐level evidence from Mexico," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(2), pages 240-292, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:31:y:2019:i:2:p:240-292
    DOI: 10.1111/ecpo.12132
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/ecpo.12132
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Melissa Dell & Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2012. "Temperature Shocks and Economic Growth: Evidence from the Last Half Century," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 66-95, July.
    2. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-279, April.
    3. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2010. "The Credibility Revolution in Empirical Economics: How Better Research Design Is Taking the Con out of Econometrics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 3-30, Spring.
    4. Daron Acemoglu & Camilo García-Jimeno & James A. Robinson, 2015. "State Capacity and Economic Development: A Network Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(8), pages 2364-2409, August.
    5. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    6. Chen, Jian & Fleisher, Belton M., 1996. "Regional Income Inequality and Economic Growth in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 141-164, April.
    7. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "The Regulation of Entry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 1-37.
    8. William Easterly & Jozef Ritzen & Michael Woolcock, 2006. "Social Cohesion, Institutions, And Growth," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(2), pages 103-120, July.
    9. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-1054, July.
    10. Elias Papaioannou, 2014. "National Institutions and Subnational Development in Africa," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(1), pages 151-213.
    11. De Long, J Bradford & Shleifer, Andrei, 1993. "Princes and Merchants: European City Growth before the Industrial Revolution," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 671-702, October.
    12. repec:hrv:faseco:30747190 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Holger Spamann, 2010. "Legal Origin, Civil Procedure, and the Quality of Contract Enforcement," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 166(1), pages 149-165, March.
    14. Sellars, Emily A. & Alix-Garcia, Jennifer, 2018. "Labor scarcity, land tenure, and historical legacy: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 504-516.
    15. Hansen, Christian B., 2007. "Asymptotic properties of a robust variance matrix estimator for panel data when T is large," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 141(2), pages 597-620, December.
    16. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2005. "Unbundling Institutions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 949-995, October.
    17. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
    18. Miriam Bruhn, 2011. "License to Sell: The Effect of Business Registration Reform on Entrepreneurial Activity in Mexico," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 382-386, February.
    19. Nicola Gennaioli & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2013. "Human Capital and Regional Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(1), pages 105-164.
    20. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    21. Kenneth I. Wolpin & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2000. "Natural "Natural Experiments" in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(4), pages 827-874, December.
    22. Coase, R H, 1988. "The Nature of the Firm: Influence," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 33-47, Spring.
    23. Eric Helland, 2016. "Of Instrumental Variables and Institutions," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 172(1), pages 65-69, March.
    24. Brock, Gregory & German-Soto, Vicente, 2013. "Regional industrial growth in Mexico: Do human capital and infrastructure matter?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 228-242.
    25. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, June.
    26. Nauro Campos & Ahmad Saleh & Vitaliy Kuzeyev, 2011. "Dynamic ethnic fractionalization and economic growth," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(2), pages 129-152.
    27. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Mellinger, 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," CID Working Papers 01A, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    28. Montalvo, Jose G. & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2005. "Ethnic diversity and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 293-323, April.
    29. Pepper, John V., 2002. "Robust inferences from random clustered samples: an application using data from the panel study of income dynamics," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 341-345, May.
    30. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    31. Arrunada, Benito & Garoupa, Nuno, 2005. "The Choice of Titling System in Land," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(2), pages 709-727, October.
    32. Daron Acemoglu & Francisco A. Gallego & James A. Robinson, 2014. "Institutions, Human Capital, and Development ," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 875-912, August.
    33. Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2006. "Distance to Frontier, Selection, and Economic Growth," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(1), pages 37-74, March.
    34. Paul Collier, 2000. "Ethnicity, Politics and Economic Performance," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 225-245, November.
    35. Robbert Maseland, 2013. "Parasitical cultures? The cultural origins of institutions and development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 109-136, June.
    36. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    37. repec:oup:qjecon:v:128:y:2012:i:1:p:105-164 is not listed on IDEAS
    38. Daron Acemoglu & Suresh Naidu & Pascual Restrepo & James A. Robinson, 2019. "Democracy Does Cause Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(1), pages 47-100.
    39. Miriam Bruhn & Francisco A. Gallego, 2012. "Good, Bad, and Ugly Colonial Activities: Do They Matter for Economic Development?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(2), pages 433-461, May.
    40. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1995. "Institutions and Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Indicators," MPRA Paper 23118, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    41. Kenneth L. Sokoloff & Stanley L. Engerman, 2000. "Institutions, Factor Endowments, and Paths of Development in the New World," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 217-232, Summer.
    42. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 2016. "The European origins of economic development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 225-257, September.
    43. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2011. "Robust Inference With Multiway Clustering," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(2), pages 238-249, April.
    44. de Vries,Jan, 1976. "The Economy of Europe in an Age of Crisis, 1600–1750," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521290500, June.
    45. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Mellinger, 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," CID Working Papers 1, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    46. Kovaäœ, Mitja & Spruk, Rok, 2016. "Institutional development, transaction costs and economic growth: evidence from a cross-country investigation," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 129-159, March.
    47. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2003. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2028, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    48. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
    49. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    50. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
    51. Raghuram G. Rajan, 2009. "Rent Preservation and the Persistence of Underdevelopment," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 178-218, January.
    52. Ronald H. Coase, 2000. "The new institutional economics," Chapters, in: Claude Ménard (ed.), Institutions, Contracts and Organizations, chapter 1, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    53. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 2003. "Tropics, germs, and crops: how endowments influence economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 3-39, January.
    54. Mitton, Todd, 2016. "The wealth of subnations: Geography, institutions, and within-country development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 88-111.
    55. Johnson Ronald N. & Libecap Gary D., 1994. "Patronage to Merit and Control of the Federal Government Labor Force," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 91-119, January.
    56. Melissa Dell & Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2009. "Temperature and Income: Reconciling New Cross-Sectional and Panel Estimates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 198-204, May.
    57. repec:hrv:faseco:30747160 is not listed on IDEAS
    58. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2003. "Institutions Don't Rule: Direct Effects of Geography on Per Capita Income," NBER Working Papers 9490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    59. Sebastian Galiani & Federico Weinschelbaum, 2012. "Modeling Informality Formally: Households And Firms," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(3), pages 821-838, July.
    60. Gallup, John & Sachs, Jeffrey, 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID) Papers 294434, Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government.
    61. Douglass C. North, 2005. "Introduction to Understanding the Process of Economic Change," Introductory Chapters, in: Understanding the Process of Economic Change, Princeton University Press.
    62. Leamer, Edward E, 1983. "Let's Take the Con Out of Econometrics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 31-43, March.
    63. Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath & Ernest Sergenti, 2004. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 725-753, August.
    64. Aron, Janine, 2000. "Growth and Institutions: A Review of the Evidence," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 15(1), pages 99-135, February.
    65. North, Douglass C., 1989. "Institutions and economic growth: An historical introduction," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(9), pages 1319-1332, September.
    66. Arellano, M, 1987. "Computing Robust Standard Errors for Within-Groups Estimators," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 49(4), pages 431-434, November.
    67. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross‐Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
    68. Gallup, J.L. & Sachs, J.D. & Mullinger, A., 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," Papers 1, Chicago - Graduate School of Business.
    69. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
    70. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
    71. Johan Torstensson, 1994. "Property Rights and Economic Growth: An Empirical Study," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 231-247, May.
    72. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-338, May.
    73. Daron Acemoglu & Melissa Dell, 2010. "Productivity Differences between and within Countries," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 169-188, January.
    74. Djankov, Simeon & McLiesh, Caralee & Ramalho, Rita Maria, 2006. "Regulation and growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 92(3), pages 395-401, September.
    75. Clague, Christopher & Keefer, Philip & Knack, Stephen & Olson, Mancur, 1999. "Contract-Intensive Money: Contract Enforcement, Property Rights, and Economic Performance," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 185-211, June.
    76. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294.
    77. repec:oup:qjecon:v:129:y:2013:i:1:p:151-213 is not listed on IDEAS
    78. Jonathan Klick, 2010. "The Perils of Empirical Work on Institutions," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 166(1), pages 166-170, March.
    79. Faria, Hugo J. & Montesinos-Yufa, Hugo M. & Morales, Daniel R. & Navarro, Carlos E., 2016. "Unbundling the roles of human capital and institutions in economic development," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(S), pages 108-128.
    80. Torstensson, Johan, 1994. "Property Rights and Economic Growth: An Empirical Study," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 231-247.
    81. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2003. "Cluster-Sample Methods in Applied Econometrics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 133-138, May.
    82. Cragg, John G. & Donald, Stephen G., 1993. "Testing Identifiability and Specification in Instrumental Variable Models," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 222-240, April.
    83. Allison J. Sovey & Donald P. Green, 2011. "Instrumental Variables Estimation in Political Science: A Readers’ Guide," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 55(1), pages 188-200, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Rok Spruk & Mitja Kovac, 2018. "Inefficient Growth," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 9(2).
    2. Rok Spruk, 2019. "The rise and fall of Argentina," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 28(1), pages 1-40, December.
    3. Bennett, Daniel L. & Faria, Hugo J. & Gwartney, James D. & Morales, Daniel R., 2017. "Economic Institutions and Comparative Economic Development: A Post-Colonial Perspective," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 503-519.
    4. David Castells-Quintana & Maria del Pilar Lopez-Uribe & Tom McDermott, 2015. "Climate change and the geographical and institutional drivers of economic development," GRI Working Papers 198, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    5. Lopez-Uribe, Maria del Pilar & Castells-Quintana, David & McDermott, Thomas K. J., 2017. "Geography, institutions and development: a review ofthe long-run impacts of climate change," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 65147, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. P. Dorian Owen, 2017. "Evaluating Ingenious Instruments for Fundamental Determinants of Long-Run Economic Growth and Development," Econometrics, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(3), pages 1-33, September.
    7. Mitton, Todd, 2016. "The wealth of subnations: Geography, institutions, and within-country development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 88-111.
    8. Tobias D. Ketterer & Andrés Rodríguez‐Pose, 2018. "Institutions vs. ‘first‐nature’ geography: What drives economic growth in Europe's regions?," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(S1), pages 25-62, March.
    9. Natkhov, T. & Polishchuk, L., 2017. "Political Economy of Institutions and Development: The Importance of Being Inclusive. Reflection on "Why Nations Fail" by D. Acemoglu and J. Robinson. Part I. Institutions and Economic Devel," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 12-38.
    10. Williamson, Claudia R., 2012. "Dignity and development," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 763-771.
    11. Mauricio Cárdenas, 2007. "Economic Growth in Colombia : a reversal of "fortune"?," Revista ESPE - Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, vol. 25(53), pages 220-259, January.
    12. Stimpfle, Alexander & Stadelmann, David, 2015. "The Impact of Fundamental Development Factors on Different Income Groups: International Evidence," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113128, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. Daniel Oto Peralías & Daniel Oto-Peralías & Diego Romero-Ávila, 2012. "Tracing the Link between Government Size and Growth: The Role of Public Sector Quality," EcoMod2012 4015, EcoMod.
    14. Jones, Patricia, 2013. "History matters: New evidence on the long run impact of colonial rule on institutions," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 181-200.
    15. Glawe, Linda & Wagner, Helmut, 2017. "The Deep Determinants of the Middle-Income Trap," CEAMeS Discussion Paper Series 10/2017, University of Hagen, Center for East Asia Macro-economic Studies (CEAMeS).
    16. Sambit Bhattacharyya, 2011. "Growth Miracles and Growth Debacles," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 13609.
    17. Stephen Knowles & P. Dorian Owen, 2010. "Which Institutions are Good for Your Health? The Deep Determinants of Comparative Cross-country Health Status," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(4), pages 701-723.
    18. Letta, Marco & Montalbano, Pierluigi & Tol, Richard S.J., 2018. "Temperature shocks, short-term growth and poverty thresholds: Evidence from rural Tanzania," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 13-32.
    19. Nils Herger & Roland Hodler & Michael Lobsiger, 2008. "What Determines Financial Development? Culture, Institutions or Trade," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 144(3), pages 558-587, October.
    20. Levon Barseghyan & Riccardo DiCecio, 2008. "Institutional causes of macroeconomic volatility," Working Papers 2008-021, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:31:y:2019:i:2:p:240-292. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley Content Delivery). General contact details of provider: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0954-1985 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.