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Transaction Costs and Institutions: Investments in Exchange

  • Charles Nolan
  • Alex Trew

This paper proposes a simple model for understanding transaction costs – their composition, size and policy implications. We distinguish between investments in institutions that facilitate exchange and the cost of conducting exchange itself. Institutional quality and market size are determined by the decisions of risk averse agents and conditions are discussed under which the efficient allocation may be decentralized. We highlight a number of differences with models where transaction costs are exogenous, including the implications for taxation and measurement issues.

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File URL: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/economics/repecfiles/2/1103.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis in its series CDMA Working Paper Series with number 201103.

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Date of creation: 15 Feb 2011
Date of revision: 20 Mar 2015
Handle: RePEc:san:cdmawp:1103
Contact details of provider: Postal: School of Economics and Finance, University of St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9AL
Phone: 01334 462420
Fax: 01334 462444
Web page: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/cdma
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  1. V. Martins-da-Rocha & Yiannis Vailakis, 2010. "Financial markets with endogenous transaction costs," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 65-97, October.
  2. Pol Antràs & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2008. "Organizations and Trade," NBER Working Papers 14262, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Greenwood, Jeremy & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1988. "Financial Development, Growth, And The Distribution Of Income," Working Papers 88-12, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  4. Coase Ronald, 1991. "The Institutional Structure of Production," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 2(4), pages 10, December.
  5. Williamson, Oliver E., 2009. "Transaction Cost Economics: The Natural Progression," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 2009-3, Nobel Prize Committee.
  6. Andrei A. Levchenko, 2007. "Institutional Quality and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 791-819.
  7. Acemoglu, Daron & Antras, Pol & Helpman, Elhanan, 2007. "Contracts and Technology Adoption," Scholarly Articles 3199063, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2005. "Unbundling Institutions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 949-995, October.
  9. Townsend, Robert M, 1978. "Intermediation with Costly Bilateral Exchange," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 417-25, October.
  10. Robert M. Townsend & Kenichi Ueda, 2006. "Financial Deepening, Inequality, and Growth: A Model-Based Quantitative Evaluation -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 251-293.
  11. Wittman, Donald, 1989. "Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1395-1424, December.
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