CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

This paper presents a new methodology aimed at building institutional indicators. Up to now, all the available indicators have relied on an analysis of the supply of legal protection. Conversely we propose here a methodology based on the analysis of the demand for legal protection, as it is revealed by the choices of economic agents when designing contractual agreements, and which is inspired by Oaxaca’s approach of discrimination on labor market [1973]. We rely on Transaction Cost Economics to analyze how agents design specific contractual clauses given the institutional environment. Observed differences between contracts established in contrasted institutional environments can then be interpreted as differences resulting from the later, if appropriate control variables are taken into account. We provide also an illustration based on a database of international licensing agreements developed with the French Patent office (inpi). As a main result, we highlight a stronger protection of intellectual property in Germany than in the us, as well as the weaknesses of the Japanese institutional framework on this ground.

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