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Property and Contract Rights in Autocracies and Democracies

Listed author(s):
  • Clague, Christopher
  • Keefer, Philip
  • Knack, Stephen
  • Olson, Mancur

We present and test empirically a new theory of property and contract rights. Any incentive an autocrat has to respect such rights comes from his interest in future tax collections and national income and increases with his planning horizon. We find compelling empirical relationship between property and contract rights and an autocrat's time in power. In lasting--but not in new--democracies, the same rule of law and individual rights that ensure continued free elections entail extensive property and contract rights. We show that the age of a democratic system is strongly correlated with property and contract rights. Coauthors are Philip Keefer, Stephen Knack, and Mancur Olson. Copyright 1996 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Economic Growth.

Volume (Year): 1 (1996)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 243-276

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jecgro:v:1:y:1996:i:2:p:243-76
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springer.com

Order Information: Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/growth/journal/10887/PS2

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  1. Helliwell, John F., 1994. "Empirical Linkages Between Democracy and Economic Growth," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(02), pages 225-248, April.
  2. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
  3. Abrams, Burton A & Lewis, Kenneth A, 1995. "Cultural and Institutional Determinants of Economic Growth: A Cross-Section Analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 83(3-4), pages 273-289, June.
  4. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
  5. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
  6. Alesina, Alberto & Özler, Sule & Roubini, Nouriel & Swagel, Phillip, 1996. "Political Instability and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 189-211, June.
  7. Abraham, Katharine G & Farber, Henry S, 1987. "Job Duration, Seniority, and Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 278-297, June.
  8. Eggertsson,Thrainn, 1990. "Economic Behavior and Institutions," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521348911, November.
  9. Londregan, J. & Poole, K.T., 1991. "The Seizure of Executive Power and Economic Growth: Some Additional Evidence," GSIA Working Papers 1991-6, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  10. Robert J. Barro, 1994. "Democracy & Growth," NBER Working Papers 4909, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Herschel I. Grossman & Suk Jae Noh, 1990. "A Theory Of Kleptocracy With Probabilistic Survival And Reputation," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(2), pages 157-171, 07.
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