The Ecological and Civil Mainsprings of Property: An Experimental Economic History of Whalers' Rules of Capture
AbstractThis article uses a laboratory experiment to probe the proposition that property emerges anarchically out of social custom. We test the hypothesis that whalers in the 18th and 19th centuries developed rules of conduct that minimized the sum of the transaction and production costs of capturing their prey, the primary implication being that different ecological conditions led to different rules of capture. Ceteris paribus, we find that simply imposing two different types of prey is insufficient to observe two different rules of capture. Another factor is essential, namely, as Samuel Pufendorf theorized over 300 years ago, that the members of the community are civil minded . The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Yale University. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Oxford University Press.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization.
Volume (Year): 28 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
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Other versions of this item:
- Bart J. Wilson & Taylor Jaworski & Karl Schurter & Andrew Smyth, 2010. "The Ecological and Civil Mainsprings of Property: An Experimental Economic History of Whalers’ Rules of Capture," Working Papers 10-12, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
- C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
- D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
- K11 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Property Law
- N50 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - General, International, or Comparative
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