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Bankruptcy: from moral order to economic efficiency


  • Nadine Levratto

    () (IDHE - Institutions et Dynamiques Historiques de l'Economie - ENS Cachan - École normale supérieure - Cachan - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - UP8 - Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Euromed Marseille - École de management - Association Euromed Management - Marseille)


The evolutions of the bankruptcy law seek to reach many aims: economic safety, firms' creation and expansion in a capitalist economy, protection of the interests of the agents involved in transactions that goes far beyond creditors and debtors, and prolongation of the activity of viable firms. This contribution examines the French insolvency law and its transformations since the 19th century from a historical and concrete point of view which makes it possible to put in perspective the modifications and the uses of the legal rules in an economic and institutional context. The underlying assumptions and the main results contradict the conclusions of the Law and Economics theory which insist on the weak economic efficiency and the low ability to protect creditors' interest of the bankruptcy law. We show that far from being only one means of selection thanks to which the market could be cleared of its failing agents, the bankruptcy law opens a non commercial space of resolution of the failures of market which, by releasing the actors of their former constraints, authorizes them to reinstate the business world.

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  • Nadine Levratto, 2007. "Bankruptcy: from moral order to economic efficiency," Post-Print halshs-00178004, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00178004
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    Bankruptcy; Law and economics; insolvency; Doing Business;

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