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

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  • Catherine Hafer

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Catherine Hafer, 2006. "On the Origins of Property Rights: Conflict and Productionin the State of Nature," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 119-143.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:73:y:2006:i:1:p:119-143
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1467-937X.2006.00371.x
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    Cited by:

    1. Erik O. Kimbrough & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2012. "Why Can’t We Be Friends? Entitlements, bargaining, and conflict," Working Papers 12-16, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    2. Libman, Alexander, 2008. "Government-business relations in post-Soviet space: The case of Central Asia," MPRA Paper 11874, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Guriev, Sergei & Sonin, Konstantin, 2009. "Dictators and oligarchs: A dynamic theory of contested property rights," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 1-13, February.
    4. Philipp Denter & Dana Sisak, 2010. ""Who's the thief?": Asymmetric Information and the Creation of Property Rights," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2010 2010-27, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
    5. Juan Carlos Muñoz-Mora & Santiago Tobón-Zapata & Jesse d'Anjou, 2014. "Does land titling matter? The role of land property rights in the war on illicit crops in Colombia," HiCN Working Papers 168, Households in Conflict Network.
    6. Kimbrough, Erik & Sheremeta, Roman, 2014. "Why can’t we be friends? Entitlements and the costs of conflict," MPRA Paper 53253, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Iyigun, Murat, 2008. "Lessons from the Ottoman Harem (On Ethnicity, Religion and War)," IZA Discussion Papers 3556, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Hoffmann, Magnus & Rota-Graziosi, Grégoire, 2012. "Endogenous timing in general rent-seeking and conflict models," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 168-184.
    9. John Boyce & David Bruner, 2012. "Property rights out of anarchy? The Demsetz hypothesis in a game of conflict," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 95-120, June.
    10. Thomas Gall & Paolo Masella, 2012. "Markets and jungles," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 103-141, June.
    11. Kevin Sheedy & Bernardo Guimaraes, 2011. "A model of equilibrium institutions," 2011 Meeting Papers 49, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Serguey Braguinsky & Roger Myerson, 2007. "A macroeconomic model of Russian transition," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 15(1), pages 77-107, March.
    13. Fletcher, Erin K. & Iyigun, Murat, 2009. "Cultures, Clashes and Peace," IZA Discussion Papers 4116, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. repec:eee:wdevel:v:103:y:2018:i:c:p:268-283 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Ethan Bueno De Mesquita & Catherine Hafer, 2008. "Public Protection Or Private Extortion?," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(1), pages 1-32, March.
    16. Calbay, Arman, 2006. "Property Rights and Theory of Value," MPRA Paper 25827, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 31 Jul 2009.
    17. Eggert, Wolfgang & Itaya, Jun-ichi & Mino, Kazuo, 2011. "A dynamic model of conflict and appropriation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 167-182.
    18. Djumashev, Ratbek & Abdullaev, Bekzod, 2017. "Crime, Transition, and Growth," MPRA Paper 80842, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Subhasish M. Chowdhury & Joo Young Jeon & Abhijit Ramalingam, 2016. "Property rights and loss aversion in contests," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 16-14, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    20. Cervellati Matteo & Fortunato Piergiuseppe & Sunde Uwe, 2012. "Consensual and Conflictual Democratization," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-51, December.
    21. Bertacchini, Enrico & Grazzini, Jakob & Vallino, Elena, 2013. "Emergence and Evolution of Property Rights: an Agent Based Perspective," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201340, University of Turin.
    22. Oren Bar-Gill & Nicola Persico, 2016. "Exchange Efficiency with Weak Ownership Rights," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 230-267, November.

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