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The Evolution of Private Property in Nineteenth-Century Hawaii

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  • Croix, Sumner J. La
  • Roumasset, James

Abstract

Population pressure has been identified as a major force behind the transition from traditional property rights in land to exclusive, transferable property rights. This article examines the case of Hawaii where the transition to private property in land occurred while its population was rapidly declining. That transition was driven by new market opportunities and considerations of public finance.The shift in comparative advantage to sugar production increased the rents associated with private land rights, while declining tax revenues prompted the king and his government to pursue property rights reform to gain additional revenues.

Suggested Citation

  • Croix, Sumner J. La & Roumasset, James, 1990. "The Evolution of Private Property in Nineteenth-Century Hawaii," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 829-852, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:50:y:1990:i:04:p:829-852_03
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    Cited by:

    1. Lawson-Remer, Terra, 2011. "Security of Property Rights for Whom?," WIDER Working Paper Series 083, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Sumner La Croix, 2014. "Land Confiscations and land reform in Natural-Order States," Working Papers 201406, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    3. Sumner J. La Croix & James Mak & Louis A. Rose, 1995. "The Political Economy of Urban Land Reform in Hawaii," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 32(6), pages 999-1015, June.
    4. Lee J. Alston & Edwyna Harris & Bernardo Mueller, 2009. "De Facto and De Jure Property Rights: Land Settlement and Land Conflict on the Australian, Brazilian and U.S. Frontiers," NBER Working Papers 15264, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Terra Lawson-Remer, 2011. "Security of Property Rights for Whom?," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2011-083, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Lakshmi Iyer & Noel Maurer, 2008. "The Cost of Property Rights: Establishing Institutions on the Philippine Frontier Under American Rule, 1898-1918," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-023, Harvard Business School, revised Apr 2009.

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