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Law, Endowments and Property Rights

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  • Ross Levine

Abstract

While scholars have hypothesized about the sources of variation in property rights for over 2500 years, it is only very recently that researchers have begun to test these theories empirically. This paper reviews both the theory and empirical evidence supporting and refuting the law and endowment views of property rights. The law view holds that historically determined differences in national legal traditions continue to shape cross-country differences in property rights. The endowment view argues that during European colonization, differences in climate, crops, the indigenous population, and the disease environment influenced long-run property rights.

Suggested Citation

  • Ross Levine, 2005. "Law, Endowments and Property Rights," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 61-88, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:19:y:2005:i:3:p:61-88
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/089533005774357842
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N01 - Economic History - - General - - - Development of the Discipline: Historiographical; Sources and Methods
    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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