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Property Rights and Parliament in Industrializing Britain

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  • Dan Bogart
  • Gary Richardson

Abstract

During Britain's industrialization, Parliament operated a forum where rights to land and resources could be reorganized. This venue enabled landholders and communities to exploit economic opportunities that could not be accommodated by the inflexible rights regime inherited from the past. In this essay, historical evidence, archival data, and statistical analysis demonstrate that Parliament increased the number of acts reorganizing property rights in response to increases in the demand for such acts. Tests with placebo groups confirm the robustness of this result. This evidence indicates that Parliament responded elastically to changes in the public's demand for reorganizing property rights. Parliament's efforts to adapt property rights to modern economic conditions may have accelerated Britain's economic ascent.

Suggested Citation

  • Dan Bogart & Gary Richardson, 2011. "Property Rights and Parliament in Industrializing Britain," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(2), pages 241-274.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/652901
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
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    4. Anderson, Terry L & Hill, Peter J, 1975. "The Evolution of Property Rights: A Study of the American West," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 163-179, April.
    5. Bogart, Dan, 2005. "Did Turnpike Trusts Increase Transportation Investment in Eighteenth-Century England?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(02), pages 439-468, June.
    6. Richardson, Gary, 2005. "The Prudent Village: Risk Pooling Institutions in Medieval English Agriculture," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(02), pages 386-413, June.
    7. Clark, Gregory, 1998. "Commons Sense: Common Property Rights, Efficiency, and Institutional Change," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(01), pages 73-102, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:exehis:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:1-20 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Sumner La Croix, 2014. "Land Confiscations and land reform in Natural-Order States," Working Papers 201406, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    3. Timur Kuran & Jared Rubin, 2014. "The Financial Power of the Powerless: Socio-Economic Status and Interest Rates under Partial Rule of Law," Working Papers 14-22, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    4. Ogilvie, Sheilagh & Carus, A.W., 2014. "Institutions and Economic Growth in Historical Perspective," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 8, pages 403-513 Elsevier.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General
    • K11 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Property Law
    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior
    • L9 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N53 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N7 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services
    • N9 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy
    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy

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