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Imachi Nkwu: Trade and the Commons

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  • James Fenske

Abstract

The conventional view is that an increase in the value of a natural resource can lead to private property over it.� Many Igbo groups in Nigeria, however, curtailed private rights over palm trees in response to the palm produce trade of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.� I present a simple game between a resource owner and a thief.� An increase in the resource price leads the owner to prefer a communal harvesting arrangement that simplifies monitoring, leaving the thief no worse off.� I use this model along with colonial court records to explain property disputes in interwar Igboland.

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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number WPS/2012-19.

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Date of creation: 19 Nov 2012
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:wps/2012-19

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