Property rights in a flea market economy
This paper studies liberalized grain markets in Madagascar and examines how property rights are protected and contracts are enforced among agricultural traders. We find that the incidence of theft and breach of contract is low and that the losses resulting from such instances are small. This, however, does not result from reliance on legal institutions -- actual recourse to police and courts is fairly rare, except in cases of theft -- but from traders’ reluctance to expose themselves to malfeasance. As a result, Malagasy grain trade has high transactions costs and little or no forward contracting. The dominant contract enforcement mechanism is trust-based relationships. Trust is established primarily through repeated interaction with little role for referral by other traders. Information on bad clients does not circulate widely, hence severely limiting group punishments for non payment.
|Date of creation:||1999|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UQ|
Phone: +44-(0)1865 271084
Fax: +44-(0)1865 281447
Web page: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gary S. Becker, 1968.
"Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
- Braguinsky, Serguey, 1999. "Enforcement of Property Rights during the Russian Transition: Problems and Some Approaches to a New Liberal Solution," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(2), pages 515-44, June.
- Kathryn Hendley & Peter Murrell & Randi Ryterman, 1998.
"Law, Relationship, and Private Enforcement: Transactional Strategies of Russian Enterprise,"
William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series
72, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
- Kathryn Hendley & Peter Murrell & Randi Ryterman, 1998. "Law, Relationships, and Private Enforcement: Transactional Strategies of Russian Enterprises," Electronic Working Papers 98-001, University of Maryland, Department of Economics.
- Kranton, Rachel E, 1996. "The Formation of Cooperative Relationships," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 214-33, April.
- Berg, Elliot, 1989. "The liberalization of rice marketing in Madagascar," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 719-728, May.
- Marris, Peter, 1971. "African Businessmen in a Dual Economy," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 231-45, July.
- Barrett, Christopher B., 1997. "Food marketing liberalization and trader entry: Evidence from Madagascar," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 763-777, May.
- Marcel Fafchamps & Bart Minten, 1999.
"Relationships and traders in Madagascar,"
Journal of Development Studies,
Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(6), pages 1-35.
- Messick, Richard E, 1999. "Judicial Reform and Economic Development: A Survey of the Issues," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 117-36, February.
- Barrett, Christopher B., 1997. "Liberalization and food price distributions: ARCH-M evidence from Madagascar," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 155-173, April.
- Greif, Avner, 1993. "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: the Maghribi Traders' Coalition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 525-48, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:1999-25. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Richard Payne)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.