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The de Soto Effect

  • Timothy Besley
  • Maitreesh Ghatak

This paper explores the consequences of creating and improving property rights so thatfixed assets can be used as collateral. This has become a cause célèbre of Hernando de Sotowhose views are influential in debates about policy reform concerning property rights.Hence, we refer to the economic impact of such reforms as the de Soto effect. We explore thelogic of the argument for credit contracts, both in isolation, and in market equilibrium. Weshow that the impact will vary with the degree of market competition. Where competition isweak, it is possible that borrowers will be worse off when property rights improve. Wediscuss the implications for optimal policy and the political economy of policy reform.

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File URL: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/eopp/eopp08.pdf
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Paper provided by Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series with number 008.

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Date of creation: Apr 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cep:stieop:008
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/default.asp

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  1. Besley, T. & Coate, S., 1991. "Group Lending, Repayment Incentives And Social Collateral," Papers 152, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  2. Markus Goldstein & Christopher Udry, 2005. "The Profits of Power: Land Rights and Agricultural Investment in Ghana," Working Papers 929, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  3. Francesco Caselli & Nicola Gennaioli, 2007. "Economics and Politics of Alternative Institutional Reforms," CEP Discussion Papers dp0775, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Krishna B. Kumar & John G. Matsusaka, 2004. "Village versus Market Social Capital: An Approach to Development," Development and Comp Systems 0408003, EconWPA.
  5. Sebastian Galiani & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2010. "Property Rights for the Poor: Effects of Land Titling," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0103, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  6. Ulf von Lilienfeld-Toal & Dilip Mookherjee, 2010. "The Political Economy of Debt Bondage," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 44-84, August.
  7. José M. Liberti & Atif R. Mian, 2010. "Collateral Spread and Financial Development," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(1), pages 147-177, 02.
  8. Simon Johnson & John McMillan & Christopher Woodruff, 2002. "Property Rights and Finance," NBER Working Papers 8852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Karlan, Dean & Mobius, Markus & Rosenblat, Tanya & Szeidl, Adam, 2009. "Trust and Social Collateral," Staff General Research Papers Archive 13026, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  10. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2006. "The Persistence of Underdevelopment:Institutions, Human Capital or Constituencies?," Working Papers id:447, eSocialSciences.
  11. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, . "Law and Finance," Working Paper 19451, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  12. Erica Field, 2005. "Property Rights and Investment in Urban Slums," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 279-290, 04/05.
  13. Kranton, Rachel E. & Swamy, Anand V., 1999. "The hazards of piecemeal reform: british civil courts and the credit market in colonial India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 1-24, February.
  14. Innes, Robert D., 1990. "Limited liability and incentive contracting with ex-ante action choices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 45-67, October.
  15. Ghatak, Maitreesh & Morelli, Massimo & Sjostrom, Tomas, 2007. "Entrepreneurial talent, occupational choice, and trickle up policies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 27-48, November.
  16. Genicot, Garance, 2002. "Bonded labor and serfdom: a paradox of voluntary choice," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 101-127, February.
  17. Dilip Mookherjee & Debraj Ray, 2002. "Contractual Structure and Wealth Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 818-849, September.
  18. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "The (Mis)Allocation of Capital," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 484-494, 04/05.
  19. Field, Erica Marie, 2005. "Property Rights and Investment in Urban Slums," Scholarly Articles 3634150, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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