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Estate Acts, 1600 to 1830: A New Source for British History

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  • Dan Bogart
  • Gary Richardson

Abstract

A new database demonstrates that between 1600 and 1830, Parliament passed thousands of acts restructuring rights to real and equitable estates. These estate acts enabled individuals and families to sell, mortgage, lease, exchange, and improve land previously bound by landholding and inheritance laws. This essay provides a factual foundation for research on this important topic: the law and economics of property rights during the period preceding the Industrial Revolution. Tables present time-series, cross-sectional, and panel data that should serve as a foundation for empirical analysis. Preliminary analysis indicates ways in which this new evidence may shape our understanding of British economic and social history.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14393.

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Date of creation: Oct 2008
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Publication status: published as Dan Bogart, Gary Richardson (2010), Estate acts, 1600–1830: A new source for British history, in Alexander J. Field (ed.) Research in Economic History (Research in Economic History, Volume 27), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.1-50
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14393

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  1. Thompson, F. M. L. (ed.), 1994. "Landowners, Capitalists, and Entrepreneurs: Essays for Sir John Habakkuk," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198283010, September.
  2. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Government," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. "Legal Determinants of External Finance," NBER Working Papers 5879, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Neal,Larry, 1994. "The Rise of Financial Capitalism," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521457385, April.
  5. Clark, Gregory, 1998. "Commons Sense: Common Property Rights, Efficiency, and Institutional Change," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(01), pages 73-102, March.
  6. Coase, R H, 1974. "The Lighthouse in Economics," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 357-76, October.
  7. Dan Bogart & Gary Richardson, 2008. "Making Property Productive: Reorganizing Rights to Real and Equitable Estates in Britain, 1660 to 1830," NBER Working Papers 14107, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. J. R. Wordie, 1983. "The Chronology of English Enclosure, 1500-1914," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 36(4), pages 483-505, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Cox, Gary W., 2012. "Was the Glorious Revolution a Constitutional Watershed?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(03), pages 567-600, September.

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