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Does Trade Foster Contract Enforcement?


  • James E. Anderson

    () (Boston College


Contract enforcement is probabilistic, but the probability depends on rules and processes. A stimulus to trade may induce traders to alter rules or processes to improve enforcement. In the model of this paper, such a positive knock-on effect occurs when the elasticity of supply of traders is sufficiently high. Negative knock-on is possible when the elasticity is low. Enforcement strategies in competing markets are complements (substitutes) if the supply of traders is sufficiently elastic (inelastic). The model provides a useful structure of endogenous enforcement that gives promise of explaining patterns of institutional development.

Suggested Citation

  • James E. Anderson, 2007. "Does Trade Foster Contract Enforcement?," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 672, Boston College Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:672

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 1998. "The Macroeconomics of Specificity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 724-767, August.
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    3. Anderson, James E. & Bandiera, Oriana, 2006. "Traders, cops and robbers," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 197-215, September.
    4. Schiff, Maurice & Winters, L Alan, 1998. "Regional Integration as Diplomacy," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 12(2), pages 271-295, May.
    5. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 691-751, September.
    6. James E. Anderson, 2008. "Economic Integration and the Civilising Commerce Hypothesis," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(1), pages 141-157, January.
    7. Anderson James E & Young Leslie, 2006. "Trade and Contract Enforcement," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-36, November.
    8. Maurice Schiff & L. Alan Winters, 2003. "Regional Integration and Development," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15172, March.
    9. James E. Anderson & Douglas Marcouiller, 2002. "Insecurity And The Pattern Of Trade: An Empirical Investigation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 342-352, May.
    10. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2001. "The growth of world trade: tariffs, transport costs, and income similarity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-27, February.
    11. Dani Rodrik, 1997. "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 57.
    12. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 2003. "Information, International Substitutability, and Globalization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 775-791, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gani, Azmat & Clemes, Michael D., 2016. "Does the strength of the legal systems matter for trade in insurance and financial services?," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 511-519.
    2. Ma, Yue & Qu, Baozhi & Zhang, Yifan, 2010. "Judicial quality, contract intensity and trade: Firm-level evidence from developing and transition countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 146-159, June.
    3. Daniel Bernhofen & Raymond Riezman, 2009. "Introduction: ‘New directions in international trade theory’," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 41(1), pages 1-3, October.
    4. repec:kap:jincot:v:18:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10842-017-0252-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Dixit, Avinash, 2015. "Governance, trade, and investment," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 166-179.
    6. Thorsten Koeppl & Cyril Monnet & Erwan Quintin, 2014. "Efficient contract enforcement," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 55(1), pages 161-183, January.

    More about this item


    trade; contract enforcement; institutional development;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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