Public institutions and private transactions : the legal and regulatory environment for business private transactions in Brazil and Chile
Drawing on the new institutional economics, the authors examine the impact on businesses of Brazil's relatively complex, nontransparent legal and regulatory institutions and compare their costs with those of Chile's institutions, which are relatively simple. They examine four basic areas where legal and regulatory institutions could create critical obstacles to efficiency in the garment industries of Sao Paulo and Santiago: (a) the start-up of a new business (entry); (b) the regulation of business; (c) orders by customers of garment firms; and (d) sales with credit. They find that Chilean business transactions benefit from legal simplicity and more consistent enforcement than in Brazil, but that these perceived advantages are offset because of the differences between formal law and practice in Brazil. In two of these areas, Brazil has evolved some effective institutional substitutes to reduce the costs that would otherwise have been imposed by inefficient formal institutions. In the entry of new businesses, professions have evolved to transform the process of registering a new business from a potentially tortuous obstacle path into a fairly affordable one-stop process. In debt collection, information systems limit the need to resort to the formal legal system. Nevertheless, regulation raises the cost of transactions for Brazilian businesses. Costs are further raised by greater uncertainty and frequent renegotiation of orders.
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