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.
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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)
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