Benito Arruñada

Pompeu Fabra University, Property and Business Formalization: Organizing Institutions for Economic Development
Tuesday 07 October 2008 - Thursday 09 October 2008

Benito Arruñada donnera une série de conférences sur le thème Property and Business Formalization:
Organizing Institutions for Economic Development Les 7 et 9 octobre 2008
Dans le cadre des activités de l’UMR EconomiX et de l’Ecole Doctorale « Economie, Organisation, Société »
de l’Université de Paris X
Salle des colloques, Bâtiment K – Rez-de-chaussée (le 7 octobre 2008)
Salle des actes, Bâtiment F – 1er étage (le 9 octobre 2008)
plan de l’Université Paris X. Mardi 7 Octobre, 10:30-12:30
The theory of property formalization - references

  • Arruñada, Benito (2003), “Property Enforcement as Organized Consent,” Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 19(2), 401-44.
  • Arruñada, Benito, “Property Titling and Conveyancing,” in Henry Smith and Ken Ayotte, eds., Research Handbook on the Economics of Property Law, Research Handbooks in Law and Economics Series (Series editors: Richard Posner and Francesco Parisi), Edward Elgar, in preparation.
Mardi 7 Octobre, 14:30-16:30
The theory of business formalization - references
  • Arruñada, Benito (2008), “A Transaction Cost Theory of Business Formalization,” presented at the 12th ISNIE Conference, University of Toronto, June.
Jeudi 9 Octobre, 10:30-12:30
Organizing and regulating formalization services - references
  • Arruñada, Benito, and Nuno Garoupa (2005), “The Choice of Titling System in Land,” Journal of Law and Economics, 48(2), 709-27. (  
  • Arruñada, Benito (2007), “Market and Institutional Determinants in the Regulation of Conveyancers,” European Journal of Law and Economics, 23(2), 93-116. ( 
  • Arruñada, Benito (2002), “A Transaction Cost View of Title Insurance and its Role in Different Legal Systems,” The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance, 27(4), 582-601. ( 
  • Arruñada, Benito (2006), “Managing Competition in Professional Services and the Burden of Inertia,” in Claus-Dieter Ehlermann and Isabela Atanasiu, eds., European Competition Law Annual 2004: The Relationship between Competition Law and the (Liberal) Professions, Hart Publishing, Oxford and Portland Oregon, 51-71. (
Jeudi 9 Octobre, 14:30-16:30
Measuring institutional performance - references
  • Arruñada, Benito (2007), “Pitfalls to Avoid when Measuring the Institutional Environment: Is ‘Doing Business’ Damaging Business,” Journal of Comparative Economics, 35(4), 729-47. (
  • Arruñada, Benito (2008), “How Doing Business Jeopardizes Institutional Reform,” Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Economics and Business Working Paper Series 1088, May. (
  • Arruñada, Benito (2008), “Mandatory Accounting Disclosure by Small Private Companies,” Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Economics and Business Working Paper Series 1090, May. (  
  • Arruñada, Benito (2008), “Will Doing Business Keep Damaging Business?” Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Department of Economics and Business, June. (
Transparents des conférences Outline In the last few decades, discussions on economic development have focused on the role of institutions, following the works of Ronald H. Coase and Douglass North. In particular, writings by economist Hernando de Soto made popular the idea that development would benefit from making access to legality easier. It was thought that, if small owners of real estate had good titles to their land, they would enjoy better incentives and could use their land as collateral for credit. Similarly, if entrepreneurs were able to formalize their businesses easily, they would benefit from operating as legal entities by, for instance, having access to the courts for enforcing contracts and settling disputes. These simple ideas, reminiscent of widespread arguments in nineteenth century Europe, have motivated reform and aid programs in developing countries, where the state of legal institutions is often inadequate. They have also influenced policy in developed countries, where many of the institutions created in the nineteenth century for formalizing property and businesses have since become outdated, when not captured by private interests. Outcomes from these efforts have often been disappointing, however, failing to fulfill their promise of economic growth and even that of improving the institutional environment. This series of lectures provide an understanding of formalization institutions, which aims to improve policy in this area. The first two lectures will sketch a theory of property and business formalization. The theory answers the fundamental question: why is formalization valuable? It provides a solid grounding for analyzing the validity of policy-supporting arguments and current reform efforts in the two areas of property titling and business simplification. The two last lectures answer the key policy questions: when is formalization valuable, what are the organizational requirements of effective formalization institutions and how to measure the performance of these institutions? Failure to respond adequately to these questions is behind common mistakes in institutional development, such as building universal property titling systems where there is little demand for universal titling and, more generally, disregarding the minimum quality that formalization institutions must provide in order to be socially valuable.

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