The Enforcement of Contract Judgments in China

Project: Research

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How effective and efficient of court in enforcing judgments is critically important for the functioning of a judicial system and for the understanding of the relationship between law and development. While the enforcement of contract judgments in China has long been regarded as notoriously difficult, this understanding is largely based on anecdotal or attitudinal evidence as few systematic empirical studies have ever been conducted. The researchers recent empirical study based on the Pearl River Delta, though preliminary, suggests that contract judgment enforcement might have been improved due to developments such as institution building in the courts and diversification of the local economy. But the overall situation of contract enforcement in China cannot be sufficiently understood with only a study in a single region, given the huge difference across various regions. This project will expand the preliminary study to other regions and levels of the courts. Through empirically and systematically examining how contract enforcement varies by region, level of the courts, and type of cases, this project will identify the differences and explore their underlying reasons. The findings of this project will demonstrate how Chinese courts function in different settings, and provide meaningful policy recommendations for China's judicial reforms. They will also contribute to the debate in the law and development literature on why China's economy has developed at a rapid pace despite the fact that few would regard China has established an effective contract enforcement mechanism.


Project number9041402
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/0930/09/11