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How enforcement institutions affect markets

Author

Listed:
  • Benito Arruñada
  • Marco Casari

Abstract

In an experiment we study market outcomes under alternative incentive structures for thirdparty enforcers. Our transactions resemble an anonymous credit market where lenders can give loans and borrowers can repay them. When borrowers default, judges are free to enforce repayment but are themselves paid differently in each of three treatments. First, paying judges according to lenders’ votes maximizes surplus and the equality of earnings. In contrast, paying judges according to borrowers’ votes triggers insufficient enforcement, destroying the market and producing the lowest surplus and the most unequal distribution of earnings. Lastly, judges paid the average earnings of borrowers and lenders achieve results close to those based on lender voting. We employ a steps-of-reasoning argument to interpret the performances of different institutions. When voting and enforcement rights are allocated to different classes of actors, the difficulty of their task changes, and arguably as a consequence they focus on high or low surplus equilibria.

Suggested Citation

  • Benito Arruñada & Marco Casari, 2007. "How enforcement institutions affect markets," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1200, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pur:prukra:1200
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Anna Rita Germani, 2007. "The Environmental Enforcement in the Civil and the Common Law Systems. A Case on the Economic Effects of Legal Institutions," Quaderni DSEMS 22-2007, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Matematiche e Statistiche, Universita' di Foggia.
    2. Germani, Anna Rita & Morone, Andrea & Morone, Piergiuseppe, 2009. "Investigating Discretionary Environmental Enforcement: a pilot experiment," MPRA Paper 12735, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    impersonal exchange ; third-party enforcement ; experiments ; steps of reasoning ; judges’ incentives ; repeated interaction;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General

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