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The Demarcation of Land and the Role of Coordinating Property Institutions

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  • Gary D. Libecap
  • Dean Lueck
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    Abstract

    We use a natural experiment in nineteenth-century Ohio to analyze the economic effects of two dominant land demarcation regimes, metes and bounds (MB) and the rectangular system (RS). MB is decentralized with plot shapes, alignment, and sizes defined individually; RS is a centralized grid of uniform square plots that does not vary with topography. We find large initial net benefits in land values from the RS and also that these effects persist into the twenty-first century. These findings reveal the importance of transaction costs and networks in affecting property rights, land values, markets, and economic growth.

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    File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/10.1086/660842
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    File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/660842
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

    Volume (Year): 119 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 426 - 467

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/660842

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    Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE/

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    Cited by:
    1. Harris Selod & Klaus W. Deininger & Rabah Arezki, 2011. "What Drives the Global Land Rush?," IMF Working Papers 11/251, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Deininger, Klaus & Jin, Songqing & Yadav, Vandana, 2012. "Does sharecropping affect productivity and long-term investment ? evidence from West Bengal's tenancy reforms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6293, The World Bank.
    3. Casta├▒eda Dower, Paul & Pfutze, Tobias, 2013. "Specificity of control: The case of Mexico's ejido reform," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 13-33.

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