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Imperfect Contract Enforcement

  • James E. Anderson
  • Leslie Young

We model imperfect contract enforcement when repudiators and their victims default to spot trading. The interaction between the contract and spot markets under improved enforcement can exacerbate repudiation and reduce contract execution, harming all traders. Improved contract execution benefits traders on the excess side of the spot market by attracting potential counter-parties, but harms them by impeding their exit from contracts found to be unfavorable. Multiple equilibria and multiple optima are possible, with anarchy a local optimum, perfect enforcement a local minimum and imperfect enforcement a global optimum. LDCs exhibit parameter combinations such that imperfect enforcement is optimal from their side of international markets. The model thus rationalizes the internationally varying patterns of imperfect enforceability observable in survey data.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w8847.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8847.

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Date of creation: Mar 2002
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8847
Note: ITI
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  1. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1998. "Holdups and Efficiency with Search Frictions," Working papers 98-14, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 1999. "Ethnic Chinese Networks in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 7189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jean Tirole, 1999. "Incomplete Contracts: Where Do We Stand?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 741-782, July.
  4. Andrew Bernard & Joachim Wagner, 2001. "Export entry and exit by German firms," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 105-123, March.
  5. McLaren, J, 1996. "Supplier Relations and the Market Context : A Theory of Handshakes," Papers 766, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  6. Marcouiller, Douglas & Young, Leslie, 1995. "The Black Hole of Graft: The Predatory State and the Informal Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 630-46, June.
  7. James E. Anderson & Leslie Young, 2000. "Trade Implies Law: The Power of the Weak," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 475, Boston College Department of Economics.
  8. Roberts, Mark J & Tybout, James R, 1997. "The Decision to Export in Colombia: An Empirical Model of Entry with Sunk Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 545-64, September.
  9. James E. Anderson & Douglas Marcouiller, 1999. "Trade, Insecurity, and Home Bias: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7000, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
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