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Courts And Contract Enforcement In Transition Agriculture: Theory And Evidence From Poland

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  • Beckmann, Volker
  • Boger, Silke

Abstract

The paper investigates theoretically and empirically the role of courts for contract enforcement in transition agriculture. In a survey of 306 Polish hog farmers conducted in 1999, only 38.5% of them reported to believe that they could use courts to enforce contracts with their most important customer. Furthermore, those who believe the legal system could be used would accept significant financial losses before taking action. We develop a theoretical model, based on the costs and benefits of court enforcement, which captures the boundary between contracts to be regarded as "enforceable" and "not-enforceable" and, simultaneously, the threshold of taking legal action. The empirical analysis strongly supports our model: (1) the farmers' responds can be explained by cost-benefit calculations regarding the use of courts, (2) the legal "enforceability" of contracts depends on not only the efficiency of the legal system, but also on the attributes of the transaction, the contracts and the relationship between buyer and seller, and (3) the threshold of taking legal action is significantly influenced by indirect costs of court enforcement, such as the disruption of a valuable relationship, and by the availability of alternative enforcement mechanisms.

Suggested Citation

  • Beckmann, Volker & Boger, Silke, 2003. "Courts And Contract Enforcement In Transition Agriculture: Theory And Evidence From Poland," 2003 Annual Meeting, August 16-22, 2003, Durban, South Africa 25878, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae03:25878
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bakucs, Lajos Zoltan & Ferto, Imre, 2013. "The role of trust in contractual relationships," 87th Annual Conference, April 8-10, 2013, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 158870, Agricultural Economics Society.
    2. Yu, Xiaohua & Abler, David G. & Peng, Chao, 2008. "Dancing with the Dragon Heads: Enforcement, Innovations and Efficiency of Contracts between Agricultural Processors and Farmers in China," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6144, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    3. Haji, Jema, 2008. "Economic efficiency and marketing performance of vegetable production in the eastern and central parts of Ethiopia," Department of Economics publications 1730, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics.
    4. Kunte, Sebastian & Wollni, Meike & Keser, Claudia, 2014. "Making it personal: breach and private ordering in a contract farming experiment," Discussion Papers 186136, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
    5. Yu, Xiaohua & Abler, David G. & Zeng, Yinchu, 2009. "Contractual Arrangements of Traders in Chinese Wholesale Markets," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51399, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. World Bank, 2005. "The Dynamics of Vertical Coordination in Agrifood Chains in Eastern Europe and Central Asia : Implications for Policy and World Bank Operations," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8806, The World Bank.
    7. Guo, Hongdong & Jolly, Robert W., 2008. "Contractual arrangements and enforcement in transition agriculture: Theory and evidence from China," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 570-575, December.
    8. Zoltán Bakucs, Lajos & Fertő, Imre & Szabó, Gábor G., 2010. "Contractual relationships in the Hungarian milk sector," IAMO Forum 2010: Institutions in Transition – Challenges for New Modes of Governance 52700, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO).
    9. Imre Ferto & Bakucs Lajos Zoltan & Sándor Elek & Csaba Forgacs, 2011. "Contracts in Hungarian Food Chains," MIC 2011: Managing Sustainability? Proceedings of the 12th International Conference, Portorož, 23–26 November 2011 [Selected Papers], University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper.
    10. Bardos, Krisztina & Ferto, Imre, 2006. "The Contract Choice of Retailers in Hungarian Beef Sector," 99th Seminar, February 8-10, 2006, Bonn, Germany 7746, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    11. Fertő, Imre & Elek, Sándor & Bakucs, Lajos Zoltán & Forgács, Csaba, 2012. "A szerződések teljesülése a magyar élelmiszerláncban
      [Contract fulfilments in Hungarian food chains]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(1), pages 63-73.
    12. Ferrali, Romain, 2012. "The Maghribi industrialists: contract enforcement in the Moroccan industry, 1956-82," Economic History Working Papers 45680, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    13. Ferto, Imre, 2012. "Contract enforcement in Hungarian agri-food chain: the case of small and medium enterprises," 86th Annual Conference, April 16-18, 2012, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 134956, Agricultural Economics Society.
    14. Jan Falkowski & Pavel Ciaian, 2016. "Factors Supporting the Development of Producer Organizations and their Impacts in the Light of Ongoing Changes in Food Supply Chains: A Literature Review," JRC Working Papers JRC101617, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    15. Bachev, Hrabrin, 2010. "Study on Agrarian Contracts in Bulgaria," MPRA Paper 22946, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Annen, Kurt, 2013. "Social capital as a substitute for formality: Evidence from Bolivia," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 82-92.
    17. Kumar, Shiv & Chandra, Subhash & Singh, D.R. & Chaudhary, Khyali R., 2013. "Contractual Arrangements and Enforcement in India: The Case of Organic Basmati Paddy Farming," Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, vol. 68(3).

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