The Economic Perspective: Demand and Supply in the Reduction of Transaction Costs in the Ancient World

(Forthcoming) Dari-Mattiacci, Giuseppe, ‘The Economic Perspective: Demand and Supply in the Reduction of Transaction Costs in the Ancient World,’ in Uri Yiftach-Firanko, Dennis P. Kehoe and David M. Ratzan (eds.), Transaction Costs in the Ancient Economy, Ann Arbor (MI): Michigan University

Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2013-24

Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2013-06

13 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2013

Date Written: April 18, 2013

Abstract

In this chapter, I distill some elements of the demand and supply of institutions designed to reduce transaction costs in the ancient world. I some cases, contractual parties could reduce transaction cost by accurately designing contracts. In other cases, the failure of private coordination placed the state in a better position than private parties in reducing transaction costs. I emphasize two such (by no means exclusive) contexts: cases in which the gains from reducing transaction costs were spread among large numbers of transactions and cases in which contracts have effects for third parties. Identifying a demand for state intervention raises the question whether the state supplied the appropriate institutions. The state supply of institutions to reduce transaction costs in the ancient world varied. A political-economy perspective suggests that differences depend on the extent to which the state internalizes the gains generated from such institutions.

Keywords: transaction costs, contracts, economics of the ancient world, contractual registries, property rights, litigation fees

JEL Classification: D23, K11, K12, K41, N00

Suggested Citation

Dari-Mattiacci, Giuseppe, The Economic Perspective: Demand and Supply in the Reduction of Transaction Costs in the Ancient World (April 18, 2013). (Forthcoming) Dari-Mattiacci, Giuseppe, ‘The Economic Perspective: Demand and Supply in the Reduction of Transaction Costs in the Ancient World,’ in Uri Yiftach-Firanko, Dennis P. Kehoe and David M. Ratzan (eds.), Transaction Costs in the Ancient Economy, Ann Arbor (MI): Michigan University ; Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2013-24; Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2013-06. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2253252

Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.columbia.edu/faculty/giuseppe-dari-mattiacci

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