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Property rights and the evolution of the state

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  • Yoram Barzel
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    Abstract

    Using property-rights tools, this paper develops a theory of the transition from despotic to rule-of-law regimes, relying on the notion that rulers and subjects are interested in maximizing wealth. Keeping subjects in check enhances despots' internal security, but at the cost of lower output, and of less wealth for the despots. Enhanced wealth is especially valuable for protection against outside threat. Subjects will increase output only if provided with rights to, for example, ownership, movement, and voting. Despots can guarantee them these rights by relinquishing some of their own power. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Economics of Governance.

    Volume (Year): 1 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 1 (03)
    Pages: 25-51

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:ecogov:v:1:y:2000:i:1:p:25-51

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    Related research

    Keywords: Key words:Rule-of-law; dictator; institutions; evolution; voting; cooperation; JEL classification:P16;

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    Cited by:
    1. Jeremy Horpedahl, 2011. "Political exchange and the voting franchise: universal democracy as an emergent process," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 203-220, September.
    2. Kai Konrad & Wolfgang Leininger, 2011. "Self-enforcing norms and efficient non-cooperative collective action in the provision of public goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(3), pages 501-520, March.
    3. Carl Lyttkens, 2006. "Reflections on the Origins of the Polis," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 31-48, 03.
    4. F. Andrew Hanssen, 2004. "Is There a Politically Optimal Level of Judicial Independence?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 712-729, June.
    5. Stefan Voigt, 2009. "Positive Constitutional Economics II—A Survey of Recent Developments," MAGKS Papers on Economics, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung) 200936, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    6. Allen, Douglas W., 2009. "A theory of the pre-modern British aristocracy," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 299-313, July.
    7. Judit Kapás & Pál Czeglédi, 2007. "Economic Freedom: Theory First, Empiricism After," ICER Working Papers, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research 10-2007, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    8. Robert Fleck & F. Hanssen, 2009. "“Rulers ruled by women”: an economic analysis of the rise and fall of women’s rights in ancient Sparta," Economics of Governance, Springer, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 221-245, July.
    9. Grossman, Herschel I., 2002. ""Make us a king": anarchy, predation, and the state," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 31-46, March.
    10. Casey B. Mulligan & Kevin K. Tsui, 2006. "Political Competitiveness," NBER Working Papers 12653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Mark Koyama, 2010. "The political economy of expulsion: the regulation of Jewish moneylending in medieval England," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 374-406, December.

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