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Law Enforcement under Incomplete Law: Theory and Evidence from Financial Market Regulation

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  • Pistor, Katharina
  • Xu, Cheng-Gang

Abstract

This Paper studies the design of lawmaking and law enforcement institutions based on the premise that law is inherently incomplete. Under incomplete law, law enforcement by courts may suffer from deterrence failure. As a potential remedy, a regulatory regime is introduced. The major functional difference between courts and regulators is that courts enforce law reactively, that is only once others have initiated law enforcement procedures, while regulators enforce law proactively, i.e. on their own initiative. We study optimal regime selection between a court and a regulatory regime and present evidence from the history of financial market regulation.

Suggested Citation

  • Pistor, Katharina & Xu, Cheng-Gang, 2003. "Law Enforcement under Incomplete Law: Theory and Evidence from Financial Market Regulation," CEPR Discussion Papers 3788, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3788
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bruno Deffains & Marie Obidzinski, 2009. "Real Options Theory for Law Makers," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 75(1), pages 93-117.
    2. Schmidt, Matthias, 2005. ""Whistle Blowing" Regulation and Accounting Standards Enforcement in Germany and Europe--An Economic Perspective," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 143-168, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    financial market; incomplete law; law enforcement; regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • K20 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - General
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
    • N20 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - General, International, or Comparative

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