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Property Rights and Contract Form in Medieval Europe

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  • Alexander Volokh

Abstract

Throughout western Europe, beginning about 1200, leasing of lords' estates became more common relative to direct management. In England, however, direct management increased beginning around the same time and until the fourteenth century, and leasing increased thereafter. This article models contract choice as a trade-off between incentives and insurance. Leasing increases as living standards improve. In England, the increase in direct management can be explained by improved security of freehold tenure, and the increase in leasing can be explained not only by living standards but also by improved security of leasehold tenure. Copyright 2009, Oxford University Press.

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  • Alexander Volokh, 2009. "Property Rights and Contract Form in Medieval Europe," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 399-450.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:amlawe:v:11:y:2009:i:2:p:399-450
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/aler/ahp012
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    1. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Becker, Gary S & Grossman, Michael & Murphy, Kevin M, 1994. "An Empirical Analysis of Cigarette Addiction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 396-418, June.
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