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Standardized enforcement: Access to justice vs. contractual innovation
Gennaioli, Nicola; Perotti, Enrico; Ponzetto, Giacomo A. M.
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
We model the effect of contract standardization on the development of markets andthe law. In a setting in which biased judges can distort contract enforcement, we findthat the introduction of a standard contract reduces enforcement distortions relative toreliance on precedents, exerting two effects: i) it statically expands the volume of trade,but ii) it crowds out the use of open-ended contracts, hindering legal evolution. We shedlight on the large-scale commercial codification undertaken in the nineteenth centuryin many countries (even common-law ones) during a period of booming commerce andlong-distance trade.
Macroeconomics and International Economics
contracting; standardization; inequality; legal evolution.
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