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Legal Reform, Contract Enforcement and Firm Size in Mexico

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  • Sean Dougherty

    (OECD)

Abstract

Legal systems provide the basic institutions for firms and markets to operate. Their quality can have important consequences on the size distribution of firms, who rely on them for contract enforcement. This paper uses the variation in legal system quality across states in Mexico to examine the relationship between judicial quality and firm size. Although the country has a single legal system, its implementation and procedures vary widely, while development outcomes there are more imbalanced and unequal than in any other country of the OECD. The effect of the legal system on inter-state firm efficiency is therefore examined. Building on Laeven and Woodruff (2007), this study uses economic census microdata and contract enforcement ratings to examine the impact of state-level legal institutions on firm and industrylevel outcomes. A robust effect of judicial quality is observed on the firm size distribution and efficiency, instrumenting for underlying historical determinants of institutions. Indicative evidence is found that the effect is strongest in more capital-intensive industries. Market size and distance-to-market are also found to matter for firm size outcomes, consistent with the new trade literature. La réforme juridique, la mise en application des contrats et la taille des entreprises au Mexique Les systèmes juridiques fournissent les institutions de base pour que les entreprises et les marchés fonctionnent. La qualité du système juridique peut avoir des conséquences importantes sur la distribution de la taille des entreprises. Ces mêmes entreprises comptent sur le système juridique pour la mise en application des contrats. Cet article utilise la variation de la qualité du système juridique dans tous les États du Mexique pour examiner la relation entre la qualité judiciaire et la taille des entreprises. Bien que le pays dispose d’un système juridique unique, sa mise en oeuvre et les procédures varient considérablement, tandis que les résultats de développement y sont plus déséquilibré et inégal que dans n’importe quel autre pays de l'OCDE. L’effet du système juridique sur l’efficacité des entreprises interétatique est donc examiné. S'appuyant sur les travaux de Laeven et Woodruff (2007), cette étude utilise les microdonnées du recensement économique et les notes sur la mise en application des contrats pour examiner l’impact des institutions juridiques étatiques sur l’entreprise et les résultats au niveau de l’industrie. Un effet significatif de la qualité judiciaire est observé sur la distribution de la taille des entreprises et leur efficacité, en instrumentation pour les déterminants sous-jacents historiques des institutions. Nous trouvons également que l’effet est plus important dans les industries à forte intensité de capital. La taille du marché et la distance aux marchés sont également influents sur les résultats de la taille de l’entreprise, conforme à la nouvelle littérature sur le commerce.

Suggested Citation

  • Sean Dougherty, 2013. "Legal Reform, Contract Enforcement and Firm Size in Mexico," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1042, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:1042-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5k483jscn8s8-en
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Silvia Giacomelli & Carlo Menon, 2013. "Firm size and judicial efficiency: evidence from the neighbour's court," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 898, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    2. repec:liu:liucej:v:13:y:2016:i:2:p:169-198 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Matteo Bugamelli & Francesca Lotti & Monica Amici & Emanuela Ciapanna & Fabrizio Colonna & Francesco D’Amuri & Silvia Giacomelli & Andrea Linarello & Francesco Manaresi & Giuliana Palumbo & Filippo Sc, 2018. "Productivity growth in Italy: a tale of a slow-motion change," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 422, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    4. repec:oup:jecgeo:v:17:y:2017:i:6:p:1251-1282. is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Miguel García-Posada & Juan Mora-Sanguinetti, 2015. "Does (average) size matter? Court enforcement, business demography and firm growth," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 639-669, March.
    6. Sean M. Dougherty & Octavio R. Escobar, 2016. "Could Mexico become the new ‘China’? Policy drivers of competitiveness and productivity," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 13(2), pages 169-198, December.
    7. Peyrache, Antonio & Zago, Angelo, 2016. "Large courts, small justice!," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 42-56.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    commerce international; efficacité judiciaire; firm scale; institutions juridiques; international trade; judicial efficiency; legal institutions; taille des entreprises;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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