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Property rights and the evolution of the state

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  • Yoram Barzel

Abstract

Using property-rights tools, this paper develops a theory of the transition from despotic to rule-of-law regimes, relying on the notion that rulers and subjects are interested in maximizing wealth. Keeping subjects in check enhances despots' internal security, but at the cost of lower output, and of less wealth for the despots. Enhanced wealth is especially valuable for protection against outside threat. Subjects will increase output only if provided with rights to, for example, ownership, movement, and voting. Despots can guarantee them these rights by relinquishing some of their own power. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Suggested Citation

  • Yoram Barzel, 2000. "Property rights and the evolution of the state," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 25-51, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ecogov:v:1:y:2000:i:1:p:25-51
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Stefan Voigt, 2011. "Positive constitutional economics II—a survey of recent developments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(1), pages 205-256, January.
    2. Elert, Niklas & Henrekson, Magnus, 2016. "Status Quo Institutions and the Benefits of Institutional Deviations," Working Paper Series 1144, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 15 Mar 2017.
    3. Elert, Niklas & Henrekson, Magnus, 2017. "Entrepreneurship and Institutions: A Bidirectional Relationship," Working Paper Series 1153, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 05 May 2017.
    4. Robert K. Fleck & F. Andrew Hanssen, 2013. "How Tyranny Paved the Way to Democracy: The Democratic Transition in Ancient Greece," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(2), pages 389-416.
    5. Casey B. Mulligan & Kevin K. Tsui, 2006. "Political Competitiveness," NBER Working Papers 12653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. repec:mgt:youmgt:v:15:y:2017:i:2:p:169-185 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Robert Fleck & F. Hanssen, 2009. "“Rulers ruled by women”: an economic analysis of the rise and fall of women’s rights in ancient Sparta," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 221-245, July.
    8. Jeremy Horpedahl, 2011. "Political exchange and the voting franchise: universal democracy as an emergent process," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, pages 203-220.
    9. Allen, Douglas W., 2009. "A theory of the pre-modern British aristocracy," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 299-313, July.
    10. Kai Konrad & Wolfgang Leininger, 2011. "Self-enforcing norms and efficient non-cooperative collective action in the provision of public goods," Public Choice, Springer, pages 501-520.
    11. Grossman, Herschel I., 2002. ""Make us a king": anarchy, predation, and the state," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 31-46, March.
    12. Carl Lyttkens, 2006. "Reflections on the Origins of the Polis," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, pages 31-48.
    13. F. Andrew Hanssen, 2004. "Is There a Politically Optimal Level of Judicial Independence?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 712-729.
    14. Mark Koyama, 2010. "The political economy of expulsion: the regulation of Jewish moneylending in medieval England," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, pages 374-406.
    15. Nagase, Yoko & Uehara, Takuro, 2011. "Evolution of population-resource dynamics models," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 9-17.
    16. Kapas Judit & Czegledi Pal, 2010. "Economic Freedom and Government: A Conceptual Framework," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 16(1), pages 1-26, October.
    17. Judit Kapás & Pál Czeglédi, 2007. "Economic Freedom: Theory First, Empiricism After," ICER Working Papers 10-2007, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.

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