Pitfalls to Avoid when Measuring Institutions: Is Doing Business Damaging Business?

Nov 28, 2007Nov 29, 2007
Mercatus Center

The Social Change Project at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University presents a Brown Bag Lecture by  Benito Arrunada, professor of business organization at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain on his paper “Pitfalls to Avoid when Measuring Institutions: Is Doing Business Damaging Business?”

Over recent years both governments and international aid organizations have been devoting large amounts of resources to "simplifying" the procedures for setting up and formalizing firms. Many of these actions have focused on reducing the initial costs of setting up the firm while disregarding the more important role of business registers as a source of reliable information for judges government departments and, above all, other firms. This reliable information is essential for reducing transaction costs in future dealings with all sorts of economic agents, both public and private. The priorities of reform policies, Professor Arrunada argues, should therefore be thoroughly reviewed, stressing the value of the legal instiutions rather than trivializing them as is often the case.

Professor Arrunada's research interests include empirical study of organizations and institutions. His most recent work focuses on the impact of legal rules and institutions, including property rights and land titling, financial auditing and competition policy.

The presentation and discussion session will be informal and all are welcome to participate. As always, no food or drink will be served so please bring your lunch.