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The regulation of quality in the market for legal services: Taking the heterogeneity of legal services seriously

Author

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  • Camille Chaserant

    (EconomiX - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Sophie Harnay

    (BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - UL - Université de Lorraine - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

Reviewing the public and private interest approaches to the regulation in the market for legal services, this article points out their mutual inconsistency and their empirical and theoretical limits. It then argues that heterogeneous legal services should be considered when (de)regulating the market. Drawing upon the distinction between credence, experience, and search goods, we distinguish various legal services according to the degree of asymmetric information on quality characterizing the relationship between lawyers and clients. We argue that the heterogeneity of legal services impacts on the desirable level of regulation, implying that not all the markets for legal services should be regulated or, conversely, deregulated. Furthermore, when regulation is needed, the degree of asymmetric information between the regulatory authority and lawyers partly determines the choice between external and self-regulation.
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Suggested Citation

  • Camille Chaserant & Sophie Harnay, 2013. "The regulation of quality in the market for legal services: Taking the heterogeneity of legal services seriously," Post-Print hal-01271355, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01271355
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01271355
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    2. Roman Matkovskyy, 2016. "A comparison of pre- and post-crisis efficiency of OECD countries: evidence from a model with temporal heterogeneity in time and unobservable individual effect," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 13(2), pages 135-167, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    credence good; legal services; lawyer; self-regulation; regulation; quality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • K2 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law
    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • L44 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Antitrust Policy and Public Enterprise, Nonprofit Institutions, and Professional Organizations
    • L84 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Personal, Professional, and Business Services

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