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On the Origins of Property Rights: Conflict and Productionin the State of Nature

  • Catherine Hafer
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    I analyse the emergence of property rights in a model of conflict and production in the absence of institutions of enforcement. The population of agents evolves dynamically through conflicts for possession of factor goods among pairs of randomly matched agents. Conflicts are incomplete information wars of attrition with an agent's type consisting of his or her independently drawn valuation of the prize and cost of competing for it. I prove equilibrium existence and show that in the steady state of the game, the population sorts into two stable groups (resource “haves” and “have-nots”) in accordance with a known function of their primitive types. Copyright 2006, Wiley-Blackwell.

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    Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Review of Economic Studies.

    Volume (Year): 73 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 119-143

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:73:y:2006:i:1:p:119-143
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