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Caste, Courts and Business

Tanika Chakraborty (), Anirban Mukherjee (), Sarani Saha () and Divya Shukla ()
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Tanika Chakraborty: Indian Institute of Management
Anirban Mukherjee: University of Calcutta
Sarani Saha: Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
Divya Shukla: Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur

No 15037, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: We study the role of formal institutions of contract enforcement in facilitating investments in small and medium firms(MSME). In a framework where established entrepreneurs can enforce contracts informally using their network ties and hierarchical advantage, we argue that an efficient formal judiciary helps entrepreneurs without any ties to informal business networks, disproportionately more. We test our theoretical prediction using a novel administrative panel-data from Indian courts and the nationally representative MSME survey data. Empirically, we treat entrepreneurs from disadvantaged castes (SC-ST) as those without traditional business-network ties. We find that improvement in court quality has a disproportionately larger impact on the investment decisions of SC-ST entrepreneurs. On average, if the time taken for a court to clear all existing cases reduces by 1 year, the initial gap in the probability of investing, between SC-ST and other entrepreneurs, gets reduced by 0.6-0.7 percentage points.

Keywords: judiciary; Duration Index; MSME; entrepreneurship (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K12 L26 O17 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 67 pages
Date: 2022-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cta, nep-ent, nep-law and nep-sbm
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