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Security of Property as a Public Good: Institutions, Socio-Political Environment and Experimental Behavior in Five Countries

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Author Info

  • Campos-Ortiz, Francisco

    ()
    (Bank of Mexico)

  • Putterman, Louis

    ()
    (Brown University)

  • Ahn, T.K.

    ()
    (Seoul National University)

  • Balafoutas, Loukas

    ()
    (University of Innsbruck)

  • Batsaikhan, Mongoljin

    ()
    (Georgetown University)

  • Sutter, Matthias

    ()
    (European University Institute)

Abstract

We study experimentally the protection of property in five widely distinct countries – Austria, Mexico, Mongolia, South Korea and the United States. Our main results are that the security of property varies with experimental institutions, and that our subject pools exhibit significantly different behaviors that correlate with country-level property security, trust and quality of government. Subjects from countries with higher levels of trust or perceptions of safety are more prone to abstain initially from theft and devote more resources to production, and subjects from countries with higher quality political institutions are more supportive of protecting property through compulsory taxation. This highlights the relevance of socio-political factors in determining countries' success in addressing collective action problems including safeguarding property rights.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6982.

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Length: 73 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6982

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Keywords: experiment; efficiency; theft; property rights; socio-political factors;

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References

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  12. 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.
  13. Carter, John R. & Anderton, Charles H., 2001. "An experimental test of a predator-prey model of appropriation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 83-97, May.
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  16. Grossman, Herschel I & Kim, Minseong, 1995. "Swords or Plowshares? A Theory of the Security of Claims to Property," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1275-88, December.
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