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Insecure Property and Technological Backwardness


  • Francisco M. Gonzalez


We consider the incentive to adopt superior technologies when private property is insecure. The welfare costs of insecure property can be substantially greater than those commonly associated with diversion and with the disincentive effect induced by imperfect appropriation of returns. When private property is sufficiently insecure, anticipation of conflict over economic distribution gives rise to technological backwardness, even though (1) superior technologies are readily available at zero cost and (2) the "ex post" diversion of resources might be small. Copyright 2005 Royal Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Francisco M. Gonzalez, 2005. "Insecure Property and Technological Backwardness," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(505), pages 703-721, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:115:y:2005:i:505:p:703-721

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Marco Magnani, 2013. "Why do dictators like white elephants? An application of the all-pay auction," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(3), pages 2260-2269.
    3. Douhan, Robin & Henrekson, Magnus, 2007. "The Political Economy of Entrepreneurship: An Introduction," Working Paper Series 688, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    4. Rowthorn, Robert & Seabright, Paul, 2010. "Property Rights, Warfare and the Neolithic Transition," TSE Working Papers 10-207, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    5. van der Ploeg, Frederick & Rohner, Dominic, 2012. "War and natural resource exploitation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1714-1729.
    6. J. Amegashie, 2011. "Incomplete property rights and overinvestment," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 37(1), pages 81-95, June.
    7. Andrew J Tiffin, 2006. "Ukraine; The Cost of Weak Institutions," IMF Working Papers 06/167, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Alexander M. Yarkin, 2014. "Endogenous Property Rights, Conflict Intensity And Inequality In Asymmetric Rent-Seeking Contest," HSE Working papers WP BRP 72/EC/2014, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    9. Jose-Luis Evia & Roberto Laserna & Stergios Skaperdas, 2008. "Socio-Political Conflict and Economic Performance in Bolivia," CESifo Working Paper Series 2249, CESifo Group Munich.
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    13. Matthew Baker & Erwin Bulte, 2010. "Kings and Vikings: on the dynamics of competitive agglomeration," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 207-227, June.
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    15. Jennings, Colin & Sanchez-Pages, Santiago, 2017. "Social capital, conflict and welfare," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 157-167.
    16. Gonzalez, Francisco M. & Neary, Hugh M., 2008. "Prosperity without conflict," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 2170-2181, October.
    17. Rodriguez Acosta, Mauricio, 2016. "Essays in political economy and resource economic : A macroeconomic approach," Other publications TiSEM 1e39ef1b-43a2-4f95-892c-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    18. Hotte, Louis & McFerrin, Randy & Wills, Douglas, 2013. "On the dual nature of weak property rights," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 659-678.
    19. Ivan G. Lopez Cruz, 2015. "Policing, Schooling and Human Capital Accumulation," Caepr Working Papers 2015-024 Classification-D, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
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    21. Gonzalez, Francisco M., 2007. "Effective property rights, conflict and growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 127-139, November.
    22. Daniel Leonard & Ngo Van Long, 2012. "Endogenous Changes in Property Rights Regime," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 88(280), pages 79-88, March.
    23. Jonathan J Adams, 2017. "The Rise and Fall of Armies," Working Papers 001002, University of Florida, Department of Economics.

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