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Coase v. the Coasians

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  • Simon Johnson
  • Andrei Shleifer

Abstract

The Coase theorem implies that, in a world of positive transaction costs, any of a number of strategies, including judicially enforced private contracts, judicially enforced laws, or even government regulation, may be the cheapest way to bring about efficient resource allocation. Unfortunately, some Coasians have ignored the possibility that the last of these strategies may sometimes be the best. This paper compares the regulation of financial markets in Poland and the Czech Republic in the 1990s, when the judicial systems remained underdeveloped in both countries. In Poland, strict enforcement of the securities law by an independent Securities and Exchange Commission was associated with rapid development of the stock market. In the Czech Republic, hands-off regulation was associated with a near collapse of the stock market. These episodes illustrate the centrality of law enforcement in making markets work, and the possible role of regulators in law enforcement.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Johnson & Andrei Shleifer, 1999. "Coase v. the Coasians," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1885, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:harver:1885
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Simon Johnson, 2000. "Tunneling," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 22-27, May.
    2. Tong, Jian & Xu, Cheng-Gang, 2004. "Financial Institutions and the Wealth of Nations: Tales of Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 4348, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Asongu Simplice, 2011. "Democracy and Stock Market Performance in African Countries," Working Papers of the African Governance and Development Institute. 11/021, African Governance and Development Institute..
    4. Dyck, Alexander & Zingales, Luigi, 2002. "Private Benefits of Control: An International Comparison," CEPR Discussion Papers 3177, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Matias Braun & Claudio Raddatz, 2004. "Trade liberalization and the politics of financial development," Working Papers 04-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    6. Asongu Simplice, 2011. "Government Quality Determinants of Stock Market Performance in African Countries," Working Papers of the African Governance and Development Institute. 11/019, African Governance and Development Institute..
    7. Barbara Blaszczyk & Richard Woodward, 2001. "Secondary Privatisation: The Evolution of Ownership Structures of Privatised Enterprises," CASE Network Reports 0050, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
    8. Bruce Kogut & Andrew Spicer, 2000. "Institutional Technology and the Chains of Trust: Capital Markets and Privatization in Russia and the Czech Republic," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 335, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    9. Javakhadze, David & Ferris, Stephen P. & Sen, Nilanjan, 2014. "An international analysis of dividend smoothing," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 200-220.
    10. Tong, Jian & Xu, Chenggang, 2003. "Financial institutions and the wealth of nations: tales of development," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0404, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    11. Simplice A, Asongu, 2011. "Government quality determinants of stock market performance in developing countries," MPRA Paper 35508, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Irena Grosfeld & Iraj Hashi, 2001. "The Evolution of Ownership Structure in Firms Privatized through Wholesale Schemes in the Czech Republic and Poland," CASE Network Reports 0049, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
    13. Hooper, Vince & Sim, Ah Boon & Uppal, Asfandyar, 2009. "Governance and stock market performance," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 93-116, June.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

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