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Identifying Spatial Markets for Personal Legal Services in Ireland


  • Edward Shinnick


This paper attempts to identify possible spatial markets for the previously neglected area of personal legal services. The market for domestic conveyancing services is examined using data from a telephone survey of solicitor firms. The importance of correctly identifying conveyancing markets is illustrated by analysing summary characteristics of legal services with particular emphasis on an analysis of concentration. The implications of this analysis arise in the policy arena, where previous government attempts to deregulate this market failed. The results show that market structure is endogenous to market fundamentals and therefore arbitrary geographical boundaries are no basis for competition. It is suggested that the deregulation debate concerning this market be reopened. Cet article cherche a reperer une demande eventuelle de services juridiques aux particuliers, ce qui a ete negligee jusqu'a nos jours. A partir des donnees provenant d'une enquete par telephone menee par un cabinet de notaires, on examine la demande de services necessaires a la redaction des actes de propriete. Une analyse des caracterisitiques sommaires des services juridiques, analysant en particulier la concentration, illustre bien l'importance du reperage de la demande de services necessaires a la redaction des actes de propriete. Les implications de cette analyse sont importantes pour la politique, dans la mesure ou des gouvernements precedents n'ont pas reussi a dereglementer ce secteur. Les resultats laissent voir que la structure de la demande s'explique par les principes de base de la demande. Par la suite, un reperage geographique arbitraire ne sert pas de base a la concurrence. On propose la reouverture du debat sur la dereglementation de ce secteur. Dieser Aufsatz versucht, in Frage kommende, raumlich festgelegte Markte fur das bisher vernachlassigte Gebiet personlicher, von Rechtanwalten angebotenen Dienstleistungen zu identifizieren. Zur Untersuchung des Marktes fur Dienstleistungen bei Eigentumsubertragung wurden Daten einer telefonischen Umfrage unter Rechtsanwalten herangezogen. Die Bedeutung der korrekten Identifizierung des Marktes fur Eigentumsubertragungen wird mittels Analyse eines Uberblicks der Merkmale juristischer Dienstleistungen illustriert, mit besonderer Betonung einer Analyse des Umfangs der Konzentration. Die Implikationen dieser Analyse entstehen in der politischen Arena, wo fruhere Versuche der Regierung, diesen Markt dem freien Wettbewerb zu uberlassen, fehlschlugen. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass Marktstruktur mit Marktgrundlagen einhergeht, und wilkurliche geographisehe Grenzziehung keine Basis fur Wettbewerb darstellt. Es wird angeregt, die Debatte, diesen Markt dem freien Wettbewerb zu uberlassen, wieder aufzunehmen.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward Shinnick, 2002. "Identifying Spatial Markets for Personal Legal Services in Ireland," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 147-155.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:36:y:2002:i:2:p:147-155
    DOI: 10.1080/00343400220121936

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Scheffman, David T & Spiller, Pablo T, 1987. "Geographic Market Definition under the U.S. Department of Justice Merger Guidelines," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 123-147, April.
    2. Stigler, George J & Sherwin, Robert A, 1985. "The Extent of the Market," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(3), pages 555-585, October.
    3. Dingwall, Robert & Fenn, Paul, 1987. ""A respectable profession"? Sociological and economic perspectives on the regulation of professional services," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 51-64, June.
    4. Clarke, Roger & Davies, Stephen W, 1982. "Market Structure and Price-Cost Margins," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 49(195), pages 277-287, August.
    5. Milton Friedman & Simon Kuznets, 1954. "Income from Independent Professional Practice," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie54-1, April.
    6. F. William McElroy, 1996. "Alternatives to the U.S. Antitrust Agency Approach to Market Definition," Law and Economics 9606001, EconWPA.
    7. Robert Bennett & William Bratton & Paul Robson, 2000. "Business Advice: The Influence of Distance," Working Papers wp167, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    8. Salop, Steven C, 1987. "Symposium on Mergers and Antitrust," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 3-12, Fall.
    9. Peter Kennedy, 2003. "A Guide to Econometrics, 5th Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 5, volume 1, number 026261183x, January.
    10. Shinnick, Edward & Stephen, Frank H., 2000. "Professional cartels and scale fees: chiselling on the celtic fringe?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 407-423, December.
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    Market; Definition; Professions; Personal; Legal; Services;


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