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Development and the interaction of enforcement institutions

  • Dhillon, Amrita
  • Rigolini, Jamele

The authors examine how institutions that enforce contracts between two parties-producers and consumers-interact in a competitive market with one-sided asymmetric information and productivity shocks. They compare an informal enforcement mechanism, reputation, the efficacy of which is enhanced by consumers investing in"connectedness,"with a formal mechanism, legal enforcement, the effectiveness of which can be reduced by producers by means of bribes. When legal enforcement is poor, consumers connect more with one another to improve informal enforcement. In contrast, a well-connected network of consumers reduces producers'incentives to bribe. In equilibrium, the model predicts a positive relationship between the frequency of productivity shocks, bribing, and the use of informal enforcement, providing a physical explanation of why developing countries often fail to have efficient legal systems. Firm-level estimations confirm the partial equilibrium implications of the model.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4090.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2006
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4090
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  1. Michi Kandori, 2010. "Social Norms and Community Enforcement," Levine's Working Paper Archive 630, David K. Levine.
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  20. McMillan, John & Woodruff, Christopher, 1999. "Dispute Prevention without Courts in Vietnam," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 637-58, October.
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  25. Greif, Avner & Milgrom, Paul & Weingast, Barry R, 1994. "Coordination, Commitment, and Enforcement: The Case of the Merchant Guild," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 745-76, August.
  26. Kranton, Rachel E. & Swamy, Anand V., 1999. "The hazards of piecemeal reform: british civil courts and the credit market in colonial India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 1-24, February.
  27. Esfahani, Hadi Salehi, 1991. "Reputation and uncertainty Toward an explanation of quality problems in competitive LDC markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 1-32, January.
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  30. Perotti, Roberto & Alesina, Alberto, 1996. "Income Distribution, Political Instability, and Investment," Scholarly Articles 4553018, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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