Go West Young Man: Self-Selection and Endogenous Property Rights
If, as Hume argues, property is a self-referring custom of a group of people, then property rights depend on how that group forms and orders itself. In this article we investigate how people construct a convention for property in an experiment in which groups of self-selected individuals can migrate between three geographically separate regions. To test a hypothesis of Demsetz's, we vary across two treatments the external benefits of migrating. We find that self-selection has a powerful effect on establishing conventions of property and begetting increases in wealth through exchange and specialization. We also find support for the Demsetz hypothesis. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4284/0038-4038-2011.249
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Volume (Year): 79 (2013)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
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