Discussion paper

DP16888 Self-Enforcing Contracts with Persistence

We show theoretically that, in the presence of persistent productivity shocks, the reliance on selfenforcing
contracts due to limited legal enforcement may provide a possible rationale why countries
with the worse rule of law might exhibit: (i) higher aggregate TFP volatilities, (ii) larger dispersion
of firm-level productivity, and (iii) greater wage inequality. We also provide suggestive empirical
evidence consistent with the model’s aggregate implications. Finally, we relate the model’s firm-level
implications to existing empirical findings.


Dumav, M, W Fuchs and J Lee (2022), ‘DP16888 Self-Enforcing Contracts with Persistence‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 16888. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp16888