Opinión: Los costos de transacción en el mercado, una realidad constante


En la economía, los agentes interactúan permanentemente con el fin de intercambiar, vender y comprar diferentes bienes. Estas transacciones permiten que se produzca una reasignación eficiente de recursos, colocándolos en manos del agente que valore más poseerlos.

Por ejemplo, tenemos al propietario de un auto Mustang de segunda generación, esta persona lo heredó de un tío; no obstante, preferiría tener un auto moderno. Por el contrario, tenemos a un comprador, un coleccionista empedernido con autos históricos. Claramente a este último le genera mayor satisfacción obtener el auto; así, la reasignación eficiente logra su cometido cuando el primero le transfiere el auto al segundo.

Costos de transacción en general

Sin embargo, antes de lograr la ansiada transacción, existen costos que estos deben asumir para decidir si concretar la operación y en qué términos realizarla, de ser el caso. A estos costos realizados se les llama: “costos de transacción”.

De acuerdo al Teorema de Coase, en un mundo donde no existieran costos de transacción, los agentes negociarían con total eficiencia. Sin embargo, ese mundo no existe, en la realidad estos costes se presentan en todas las operaciones económicas. En ese sentido, el economista menciona algunas actividades que son parte de dichos costos: descubrir con quién deseamos transar, informar a la gente que deseamos intercambiar y en qué términos, conducir negociaciones que lleven a un convenio, entre otras.

Costos de transacción en una compra-venta de inmueble

Ya en un caso concreto, Juan Luis Hernández, profesor de Derecho en la PUCP, enumera ciertos costos de transacción al comprar un inmueble: “buscar un inmueble que cumpla con las características que queremos; ubicada la casa deseada, nos avocaríamos a indagar quién es el propietario, conversaríamos con él, buscaríamos fijar un precio; para celebrar el contrato de compraventa recurriríamos a nuestro abogado, para que elabore un proyecto de contrato, de acuerdo a nuestro interés; tendríamos que realizar un estudio de títulos; elaborado el proyecto de contrato, habría que negociarlo; finalmente, celebraríamos el contrato, firmaríamos la minuta de compraventa, se elaboraría la escritura pública, para luego proceder a la inscripción del inmueble a nuestro nombre”.

Ciertamente, a diario lidiamos con la necesidad de incurrir en costos de transacción. En algunos casos, los altos costos conllevan a que no se concreten las transacciones previstas, generando pérdidas e ineficiencia. Frente a esta situación, la regulación normativa estatal busca disminuir dichos costos; facilitando y fomentando así las operaciones económicas en el mercado.

Isabel Cajavilca
Estudiante de Derecho en la PUCP. Le fascina la estrecha relación entre la Economía y el Derecho como medio para entender y mejorar las política públicas.

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