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Imperfect Contract Enforcement and the (In)Efficiency of International Firm Location


  • Evelina Mengova


This paper explores the location decisions of final-good producers under imperfect contract enforcement. The legal systems'; quality is measured by the contracting environment in each country. The final producers'; location decisions create different outcomes in terms of efficiency. We find one inefficient outcome, where final producers locate in the country with the weaker enforcement in pursuit of higher profits, which leads to losses in production and trade. But opening up for international trade and contracting acts as a substitute for a poor legal system, by making final producers prefer the country with the stricter enforcement, leading to an efficient equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Evelina Mengova, 2011. "Imperfect Contract Enforcement and the (In)Efficiency of International Firm Location," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 167(3), pages 465-488, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(201109)167:3_465:iceati_2.0.tx_2-x

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. La Porta, Rafael & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. " Legal Determinants of External Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1131-1150, July.
    2. Sourafel Girma & Anja Shortland, 2008. "The political economy of financial development," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(4), pages 567-596, October.
    3. Aizenman, Joshua, 2008. "On the hidden links between financial and trade opening," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 372-386, April.
    4. Levine, Ross, 2005. "Finance and Growth: Theory and Evidence," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 865-934 Elsevier.
    5. Efraim Benmelech & Tobias J. Moskowitz, 2010. "The Political Economy of Financial Regulation: Evidence from U.S. State Usury Laws in the 19th Century," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(3), pages 1029-1073, June.
    6. Yongfu Huang & Jonathan Temple, 2005. "Does external trade promote financial development?," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 05/575, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    7. Andrianova, Svetlana & Demetriades, Panicos & Shortland, Anja, 2008. "Government ownership of banks, institutions, and financial development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1-2), pages 218-252, February.
    8. 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.
    9. Baltagi, Badi H. & Demetriades, Panicos O. & Law, Siong Hook, 2009. "Financial development and openness: Evidence from panel data," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 285-296, July.
    10. repec:hrv:faseco:30728041 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • K1 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law


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