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Securing Private Property: Formal versus Informal Institutions

Listed author(s):
  • Claudia R. Williamson
  • Carrie B. Kerekes

Property rights are one of the most fundamental and highly robust institutions supporting economic performance. However, the channels through which property rights are achieved are not adequately identified. This paper is a first step toward unbundling the black box of property rights into a formal and an informal component. We empirically determine the significance of both informal and formal rules in securing property rights. We find that when both components are included in the analysis, the impact of formal constraints is greatly diminished, while informal constraints are highly significant in explaining the security of property. These results are robust to a variety of model specifications, multiple instrumental variables, and a range of control variables.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/658493
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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/658493
Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal The Journal of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 54 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 537-572

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/658493
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/

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