The Ecological and Civil Mainsprings of Property: An Experimental Economic History of Whalers’ Rules of Capture
AbstractThis paper 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 century 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 lead to different rules of capture. Holding everything else constant, we find that simply imposing two different types of prey is insufficient to observe two different rules of capture. Another factor is essential, namely that the members of the community are civil-minded.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Chapman University, Economic Science Institute in its series Working Papers with number 10-12.
Length: 57 pages
Date of creation: May 2010
Date of revision:
property rights; endogenous rules; whaling; experimental economics;
Other versions of this item:
- Bart J. Wilson & Taylor Jaworski & Karl E. Schurter & Andrew Smyth, 2012. "The Ecological and Civil Mainsprings of Property: An Experimental Economic History of Whalers' Rules of Capture," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(4), pages 617-656, October.
- 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
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-06-11 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2010-06-11 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2010-06-11 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-HIS-2010-06-11 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-HPE-2010-06-11 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Roberto A. Weber, 2006. "Managing Growth to Achieve Efficient Coordination in Large Groups," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 114-126, March.
- Hirshleifer, Jack, 1995. "Anarchy and Its Breakdown," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 26-52, February.
- Sean Crockett & Vernon Smith & Bart Wilson, 2006.
"Exchange and Specialization as a Discovery Process,"
1002, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science, revised May 2006.
- Sean Crockett & VernonL. Smith & BartJ. Wilson, 2009. "Exchange and Specialisation as a Discovery Process," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(539), pages 1162-1188, 07.
- Taylor Jaworski & Bart J. Wilson, 2009.
"Go West Young Man: Self-selection and Endogenous Property Rights,"
09-02, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
- 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.
- Mary L. Rigdon & Kevin A. McCabe & Vernon L. Smith, 2007.
"Sustaining Cooperation in Trust Games,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(522), pages 991-1007, 07.
- Gunnthorsdottir, Anna & Houser, Daniel & McCabe, Kevin, 2007.
"Disposition, history and contributions in public goods experiments,"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 304-315, February.
- Anna Gunnthorsdottir & Daniel Houser & Kevin McCabe & Holly Ameden, 2004. "Disposition, History and Contributions in Public Goods Experiments," Experimental 0401001, EconWPA.
- David J. Cooper & John H. Kagel, 2005. "Are Two Heads Better Than One? Team versus Individual Play in Signaling Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 477-509, June.
- 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.
- Clay, Karen & Wright, Gavin, 2005. "Order without law? Property rights during the California gold rush," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 155-183, April.
- Umbeck, John, 1977. "The California gold rush: A study of emerging property rights," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 197-226, July.
- Daniel Houser & David Reiley & Michael Urbancic, 2004. "Checking Out Temptation: An Natural Experiment with Purchases at the Grocery Register," Working Papers 1001, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science, revised Nov 2008.
- Erik O. Kimbrough & Bart J. Wilson, 2012.
"Insiders, outsiders, and the adaptability of informal rules to ecological shocks,"
dp12-20, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
- 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.
- Joy A. Buchanan & Bart J. Wilson, 2012.
"An Experiment on Protecting Intellectual Property,"
12-09, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Megan Luetje).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.