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Courts and Banks: Effects of Judicial Enforcement on Credit Markets

  • Bianco, Magda
  • Jappelli, Tullio
  • Pagano, Marco

The cost of enforcing contracts is a key determinant of market performance. We document this point with reference to the credit market in a model of opportunistic debtors and inefficient courts. According to the model, improvements in judicial efficiency should reduce credit rationing and increase lending, with an ambiguous effect on interest rates that depends on banking competition and on the type of judicial reform. These predictions are supported by panel data on Italian provinces and by cross-country evidence. In Italian provinces with longer trials or large backlogs of pending trials, credit is less widely available. International evidence also shows that the depth of mortgage markets is inversely related to the costs of mortgage foreclosure and other proxies for judicial inefficiency.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3347.

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Date of creation: Apr 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3347
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  1. Fabiani, S. & Pellegrini, G., 1997. "Education, Infrastructure, Geography and Growth: An Empirical Analysis of the Development of Italian Provinces," Papers 323, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  2. RAFAEL LaPORTA & FLORENCIO LOPEZ-de-SILANES & ANDREI SHLEIFER & ROBERT W. VISHNY, . "Legal Determinants of External Finance,"," CRSP working papers 324, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  3. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1998. "Law and Finance," Scholarly Articles 3451310, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Gropp, Reint & Scholz, John Karl & White, Michelle J, 1997. "Personal Bankruptcy and Credit Supply and Demand," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 217-51, February.
  5. Petersen, Mitchell A & Rajan, Raghuram G, 1995. "The Effect of Credit Market Competition on Lending Relationships," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 407-43, May.
  6. Manove, Michael & Padilla, Atilano Jorge & Pagano, Marco, 2000. "Collateral Vs. Project Screening: A Model Of Lazy Banks," CEPR Discussion Papers 2439, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Daniela Fabbri & Mario Padula, 2001. "Judicial Costs and Household Debt," CSEF Working Papers 65, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  8. Clauretie, Terrence M & Herzog, Thomas N, 1990. "The Effect of State Foreclosure Laws on Loan Losses: Evidence from the Mortgage Insurance Industry," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 22(2), pages 221-33, May.
  9. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1992. "Saving, Growth and Liquidity Constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers 662, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Maria Concetta Chiuri & Tullio Jappelli, 2000. "Financial Market Imperfections and Home Ownership: A Comparative Study," CSEF Working Papers 44, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 01 Dec 2000.
  11. Andrew Powell & Marcela Cristini & Ramiro Moya, 2001. "The Importance of an Effective Legal System for Credit Markets: The Case of Argentina," Research Department Publications 3125, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  12. Terrence M. Clauretie, 1987. "The Impact of Interstate Foreclosure Cost Differences and the Value of Mortgages on Default Rates," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 15(3), pages 152-167.
  13. Manove, Michael & Padilla, A Jorge & Pagano, Marco, 2001. "Collateral versus Project Screening: A Model of Lazy Banks," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 726-44, Winter.
  14. Alston, Lee J, 1984. "Farm Foreclosure Moratorium Legislation: A Lesson from the Past," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 445-57, June.
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