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Courts and Banks: Effects of Judicial Enforcement on Credit Markets

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Abstract

The costs of enforcing contracts is a key determinant of market performance. We document this point with reference to the credit market. We start by presenting a model of opportunistic debtors and inefficient courts. According to the model, improvements in judicial efficiency reduce credit rationing and increase lending, while have an ambiguous effect on interest rates, depending on banking competition and on the type of judicial reform. These predictions are supported by panel data on Italian provinces and by cross-country evidence. In Italian provinces with longer trials or large backlogs of pending trials, credit is less widely available than elsewhere. International evidence also shows that the depth of mortgage markets is inversely related to costs of mortgage foreclosure and other proxies for judicial inefficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Magda Bianco & Tullio Jappelli & Marco Pagano, 2001. "Courts and Banks: Effects of Judicial Enforcement on Credit Markets," CSEF Working Papers 58, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 09 Apr 2002.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:58
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Reint Gropp & John Karl Scholz & Michelle J. White, 1997. "Personal Bankruptcy and Credit Supply and Demand," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 217-251.
    2. La Porta, Rafael & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. " Legal Determinants of External Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1131-1150, July.
    3. Chiuri, Maria Concetta & Jappelli, Tullio, 2003. "Financial market imperfections and home ownership: A comparative study," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(5), pages 857-875, October.
    4. Andrew Powell & Marcela Cristini & Ramiro Moya, 2001. "The Importance of an Effective Legal System for Credit Markets: The Case of Argentina," Research Department Publications 3125, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    5. Mitchell A. Petersen & Raghuram G. Rajan, 1995. "The Effect of Credit Market Competition on Lending Relationships," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 407-443.
    6. Clauretie, Terrence M & Herzog, Thomas N, 1990. "The Effect of State Foreclosure Laws on Loan Losses: Evidence from the Mortgage Insurance Industry," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 22(2), pages 221-233, May.
    7. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
    8. Manove, M. & Padilla, A.J. & Pagano, M., 1998. "Collateral vs. Project Screening: a Model of Lazy Banks," Papers 9807, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
    9. Fabiani, S. & Pellegrini, G., 1997. "Education, Infrastructure, Geography and Growth: An Empirical Analysis of the Development of Italian Provinces," Papers 323, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
    10. Manove, Michael & Padilla, A Jorge & Pagano, Marco, 2001. "Collateral versus Project Screening: A Model of Lazy Banks," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 726-744, Winter.
    11. repec:hrv:faseco:30728041 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Daniela Fabbri & Mario Padula, 2001. "Judicial Costs and Household Debt," CSEF Working Papers 65, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    13. Tullio Jappelli & Marco Pagano, 1994. "Saving, Growth, and Liquidity Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 83-109.
    14. Terrence M. Clauretie, 1987. "The Impact of Interstate Foreclosure Cost Differences and the Value of Mortgages on Default Rates," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 15(3), pages 152-167.
    15. Alston, Lee J, 1984. "Farm Foreclosure Moratorium Legislation: A Lesson from the Past," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 445-457, June.
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    Keywords

    enforcement; judicial efficiency; credit market; lending; interest rates;

    JEL classification:

    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior

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