A Theory of Inalienable Property Rights
AbstractWhy do democratic societies often impose legal restrictions that render various assets or entitlements inalienable to the individual? The explanation proposed here is that these constraints arise as an institutional response against financial markets that, in a sense, work "too well." That is, I demonstrate how a well-functioning financial market can potentially work against a social policy designed to ensure a basic minimum standard of living for all types of individuals. Inalienable property rights and debt constraints emerge as a natural institutional response to the improvident tendencies of some members of society when a majority of individuals share a common distaste for neighborhood squalor.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.
Volume (Year): 110 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
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Other versions of this item:
- David Andolfatto, 1999. "A Theory of Inalienable Property Rights," Working Papers 99004, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Nov 1999.
- David Andolfatto, 2000. "A Theory of Inalienable Property Rights," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 110, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
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