On the Dual Nature of Weak Property Rights
AbstractIn the natural resource literature, convertional wisdom holds that weak property rights will cause a resource to be over-exploited. This is because weak property rights are typically perceived as a problem of input exclusion. In this paper, we first present evidence to the effect that weak property rights often take the form of contestable output- or output theft - and that this has an impact or resource use. We then propose a theoretical model of natural resource use under generally weak prperty rights - or weak state presence - when resource users face the dual problem of input exclusion output appropriation. We show that introducing the possibility that outputs can be contested acts as an output tax, with the added twist that resource users effectively determine the level of the tax. This tax has a depressive effect on input use. As a result, whether the resource is under-or over-exploited in equilibrium will depend on the relative severity of output appropriation and input exclusion problems when property rights are generally weak.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Ottawa, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1103E.
Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
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More information through EDIRC
Natural Resources; Property Rights; Trespass; Theft; Over-Exploitation; Under-Exploitation;
Other versions of this item:
- K11 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Property Law
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
- Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
- N50 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - General, International, or Comparative
- O13 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-06-04 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENV-2011-06-04 (Environmental Economics)
- NEP-LAW-2011-06-04 (Law & Economics)
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