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Institutional Foundations of Impersonal ExchangeTheory and Policy of Contractual Registries$
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Benito Arrunada

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226028323

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226028354.001.0001

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The Role of Verifiable Contract Publicity in Impersonal Trade

The Role of Verifiable Contract Publicity in Impersonal Trade

(p.15) ONE The Role of Verifiable Contract Publicity in Impersonal Trade
Institutional Foundations of Impersonal Exchange

Benito Arruñada

University of Chicago Press

This chapter presents a general theory of public contract formalization. It discusses how impersonal exchange requires rights on assets; the difference between rights on assets and rights on persons; the differences between the economic and legal views on enforcement; and how multiple rights are indispensable for specialization and are pervasive in today's economies. The chapter then considers the sequential structure of transactions, using an economic agency framework in order to clarify how rights are recurrently allocated and show that the interaction between enforcement benefits and transaction costs is widespread various economic transactions.

Keywords:   public contract formalization, impersonal exchange, rights on assets, rights on persons, economic agency, enforcement, transaction costs

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