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Historical Property Rights, Sociality, and the Emergence of Impersonal Exchange in Long-Distance Trade

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  • Erik O. Kimbrough
  • Vernon L. Smith
  • Bart J. Wilson

Abstract

This laboratory experiment explores the extent to which impersonal exchange emerges from personal exchange with opportunities for long-distance trade. We design a three-commodity production and exchange economy in which agents in three geographically separated villages must develop multilateral exchange networks to import a good only available abroad. For treatments, we induce two distinct institutional histories to investigate how past experience with property rights affects the evolution of specialization and exchange. We find that a history of unenforced property rights hinders our subjects' ability to develop the requisite personal social arrangements to support specialization and effectively exploit impersonal long-distance trade.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 98 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 1009-39

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:98:y:2008:i:3:p:1009-39

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.98.3.1009
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References

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  1. Miller, John H. & Butts, Carter T. & Rode, David, 2002. "Communication and cooperation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 179-195, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kimbrough, Erik O. & Wilson, Bart J., 2013. "Insiders, outsiders, and the adaptability of informal rules to ecological shocks," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 29-40.
  2. Adam C. Smith & David B. Skarbek & Bart J. Wilson, 2009. "Anarchy, Groups, and Conflict: An Experiment on the Emergence of Protective Associations," Working Papers 09-03, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  3. Maroš Servátka & Steven Tucker & Radovan Vadovic, 2008. "Words Speak Louder Than Money," Working Papers in Economics 08/18, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
  4. James Konow & Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Kenju Akai, 2008. "Morals and Mores? Experimental Evidence on Equity and Equality from the US and Japan," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000002055, David K. Levine.
  5. Taylor Jaworski & Bart J. Wilson, 2013. "Go West Young Man: Self-Selection and Endogenous Property Rights," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 886-904, April.
  6. Fonseca, Miguel A. & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2012. "Explicit vs. tacit collusion: The impact of communication in oligopoly experiments," DICE Discussion Papers 65, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  7. Daniel Houser & Erte Xiao, 2011. "Classification of natural language messages using a coordination game," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 1-14, March.
  8. Kimbrough, Erik O., 2011. "Heuristic learning and the discovery of specialization and exchange," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 491-511, April.
  9. Clemens, Georg & Rau, Holger A., 2014. "Do leniency policies facilitate collusion? Experimental evidence," DICE Discussion Papers 130, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  10. Bicchieri, Cristina & Erte, Xiao, 2007. "Do the right thing: But only if others do so," MPRA Paper 4609, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Calbay, Arman, 2006. "Property Rights and Theory of Value," MPRA Paper 25827, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 31 Jul 2009.
  12. Erik O. Kimbrough & Alexander Vostroknutov, 2013. "Norms Make Preferences Social," Discussion Papers dp13-01, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
  13. Cason, Timothy N. & Gangadharan, Lata, 2011. "Price discovery and intermediation in linked emissions trading markets: A laboratory study," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(7), pages 1424-1433, May.
  14. Kimbrough, Erik O. & Smith, Vernon L. & Wilson, Bart J., 2010. "Exchange, theft, and the social formation of property," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 206-229, June.
  15. Bart J. Wilson, 2012. "Contra Private Fairness," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 407-435, 04.
  16. Jason Arentz & Frederic Sautet & Virgil Storr, 2013. "Prior-knowledge and opportunity identification," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 461-478, August.
  17. David M. Bruner & John R. Boyce, 2013. "Voluntary Contributions to Property Rights," Working Papers 13-14, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.

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