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Legal Protection in Retail Financial Markets

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  • Bruce I. Carlin
  • Simon Gervais

Abstract

Given the importance of sound advice in retail financial markets and the fact that financial institutions outsource their advice services, what legal rules maximize social welfare in the market? We address this question by posing a theoretical model of retail markets in which a firm and a broker face a bilateral hidden action problem when they service clients in the market. All participants in the market are rational, and prices are set based on consistent beliefs about equilibrium actions of the firm and the broker. We characterize the optimal law within our modeling context, and derive how the legal system splits the blame between parties to the transaction. We also analyze how complexity in assessing clients and conflicts of interest affect the law. Since these markets are large, the implications of the analysis have great welfare import.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruce I. Carlin & Simon Gervais, 2009. "Legal Protection in Retail Financial Markets," NBER Working Papers 14972, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14972
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    Cited by:

    1. Dimitris Georgarakos & Roman Inderst, 2011. "Financial Advice and Stock Market Participation," BCL working papers 51, Central Bank of Luxembourg.
    2. Calcagno, Riccardo & Monticone, Chiara, 2015. "Financial literacy and the demand for financial advice," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 363-380.
    3. Agrawal, Ashwini K., 2009. "The Impact of Investor Protection Law on Corporate Policy: Evidence from the Blue Sky Laws," MPRA Paper 16351, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Hackethal, Andreas & Inderst, Roman & Meyer, Steffen, 2010. "Trading on Advice," CEPR Discussion Papers 8091, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    JEL classification:

    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • K2 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law

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