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A Theory of Inalienable Property Rights

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  • David Andolfatto

    (Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University)

Abstract

Why do societies impose legal restrictions that limit the disposable property rights of some individuals? The explanation proposed here is that these constraints arise as an institutional response against financial markets that, in a sense, work 'too well'. That is, we demonstrate how a well-functioning financial market can potentially work against a social policy designed to ensure a basic minimum standard of living for all types of individuals. Inalienable property rights emerge as a natural institutional response to the relatively improvident tendencies of some members of society when a majority of individuals share a common distaste for neighborhood squalor.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Waterloo, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 99004.

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Date of creation: Nov 1999
Date of revision: Nov 1999
Handle: RePEc:wat:wpaper:99004

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  1. Bergstrom, Theodore C, 1999. " Systems of Benevolent Utility Functions," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 1(1), pages 71-100.
  2. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
  3. Fay, S. & Hurst, E. & White, M.J., 1998. "The Bankruptcy Decision: Does Stigma Matter?," Papers, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory 98-01, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  4. Timothy J Kehoe & David K Levine, 1993. "Debt Constrained Asset Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1276, David K. Levine.
  5. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
  6. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1991. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 3906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lawrance, Emily C, 1991. "Poverty and the Rate of Time Preference: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 54-77, February.
  8. Jaffee, Dwight M & Russell, Thomas, 1976. "Imperfect Information, Uncertainty, and Credit Rationing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 651-66, November.
  9. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1988. "Cash versus Kind, Self-selection, and Efficient Transfers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 691-700, September.
  10. George J. Stigler, 1967. "Imperfections in the Capital Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 287.
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Cited by:
  1. Dilip Mookherjee, 2006. "Decentralization, Hierarchies, and Incentives: A Mechanism Design Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 44(2), pages 367-390, June.
  2. Ulf von Lilienfeld-Toal & Dilip Mookherjee, 2005. "Bankruptcy Law, Bonded Labor And Inequality," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series, Boston University - Department of Economics WP2005-035, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  3. Stark, Oded, 2013. "Stressful Integration," Discussion Papers, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF) 150233, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
  4. Jeremy Lise, 2006. "On-the-Job Search and Precautionary Savings: Theory and Empirics of Earnings and Wealth Inequality," 2006 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 137, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Sorger, Gerhard & Stark, Oded, 2013. "Income redistribution going awry: The reversal power of the concern for relative deprivation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 1-9.
  6. Deininger, Klaus, 2010. "Towards sustainable systems of land administration: Recent evidence and challenges for Africa," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 5(1), September.
  7. Kartik B. Athreya & Xuan S. Tam & Eric R. Young, 2011. "Loan guarantees for consumer credit markets," Working Paper, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond 11-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  8. J. Atsu Amegashie, 2009. "Third-Party Intervention in Conflicts and the Indirect Samaritan's Dilemma," CESifo Working Paper Series 2695, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Stark, Oded, 2006. "Inequality and migration: A behavioral link," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 146-152, April.
  10. World Bank, 2007. "India - Land Policies for Growth and Poverty Reduction," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7818, The World Bank.
  11. World Bank, 2007. "India : Land Policies for Growth and Poverty Reduction," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15791, August.
  12. J. Amegashie & Bazoumana Ouattara & Eric Strobl, 2013. "Moral hazard and the composition of transfers: theory and evidence from cross-border transfers," Economics of Governance, Springer, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 279-301, August.
  13. Kartik B. Athreya & Xuan S. Tam & Eric R. Young, 2009. "Are harsh penalties for default really better?," Working Paper, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond 09-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

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