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Property Rights and Parliament in Industrializing Britain

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  • Daniel Bogart
  • Gary Richardson

Abstract

During Britain’s industrialization, Parliament operated a forum where rights to land and resources could be reorganized. This venue enabled landholders and communities to exploit economic opportunities that could not be accommodated by the inflexible rights regime inherited from the past. In this essay, historical evidence, archival data, and statistical analysis demonstrate that Parliament increased the number of acts reorganizing property rights in response to increases in the demand for such acts. Tests with placebo groups confirm the robustness of this result. This evidence indicates that Parliament responded elastically to changes in the public’s demand for reorganizing property rights. Parliament’s efforts to adapt property rights to modern economic conditions may have accelerated Britain’s economic ascent

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15697.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
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Publication status: published as Dan Bogart & Gary Richardson, 2011. "Property Rights and Parliament in Industrializing Britain," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(2), pages 241 - 274.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15697

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  1. Whitney K. Newey & Kenneth D. West, 1986. "A Simple, Positive Semi-Definite, Heteroskedasticity and AutocorrelationConsistent Covariance Matrix," NBER Technical Working Papers 0055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Crafts, N. F. R., 1977. "Determinants of the rate of parliamentary enclosure," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 227-249, July.
  3. Neal,Larry, 1994. "The Rise of Financial Capitalism," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521457385.
  4. Bogart, Dan, 2005. "Turnpike trusts and the transportation revolution in 18th century England," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 479-508, October.
  5. Clark, Gregory, 1998. "Commons Sense: Common Property Rights, Efficiency, and Institutional Change," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(01), pages 73-102, March.
  6. Richardson, Gary, 2005. "The Prudent Village: Risk Pooling Institutions in Medieval English Agriculture," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(02), pages 386-413, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Sumner La Croix, 2014. "Land Confiscations and land reform in Natural-Order States," Working Papers, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics 201406, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  2. Ogilvie, Sheilagh & Carus, A.W., 2014. "Institutions and Economic Growth in Historical Perspective," Handbook of Economic Growth, Elsevier, in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 8, pages 403-513 Elsevier.

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