Red de analisis del Sistema Juridico y la Economia Comunidad de Madrid Universidad Rey Juan Carlos Castellano - English
Universidad Complutense de Madrid Universidad Carlos III UNED
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One of the priorities of this research network is to create a database where the most relevant variables in this field are collected, and their applicability to institutional analysis on the regional level studied. In order to do our research about transaction costs measurement, we will consider the most recent methodologies. From the pioneering work of Wallis & North (1986) up to the Hernando de Soto (1987) with measures for the informal economy sector. We will also consider the data from the World Bank "Doing Business" report, with its institutional quality Index from 174 countries. This very important database can be a benchmark for our project.

At the same time, another research field is not so much to measure transaction costs as to study the judicial system-contractual law, or laws concerning injury to persons or property, for example-as part of the institutional framework leading to the reduction of such costs. The objective of these kinds of studies is to measure the efficiency of these norms in order to see whether as a result of their application, a situation similar to that where the parties involved would have reached if their negotiation had been carried out in a market without costs of transaction (an efficient situation according to the Coase Theorem) would be reached.

Lastly, between the economic analysis of law and Public Choice, the effects that lobbies have on regulation will be analyzed. It is common for laws not to be adjusted to economic criteria such as efficiency. In addition, the analysis of regulation produces many examples of specific norms that, far from increasing efficiency, drastically reduce it. The protectionist practices are good examples of regulation that has been demonstrated to be absolutely inefficient. Its nature is not so much economic as political. Behind these regulations, there are highly organized lobbies that use their influence and money to obtain monopolistic gains. Our objectives include carrying out an exhaustive analysis of the power of these lobbies, as well as quantify, where possible, the profits from their political action and the losses for the rest of society.

In order to give more empirical work to our theoretical research, as a first approximation to this economic analysis of the political system, we want to use the same methodology as in the "economic freedom" indexes. One of the them, the Economic Freedom Index from The Heritage Foundation, takes several aspects into consideration - commercial freedom, public expenditures, corruption, etc.- that can give an idea of the effective power of the lobbies. The Corruption Index from "International Transparency" could also be useful in our study.

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