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Toward a Theory of Property Rights II: The Competition between Private and Collective Ownership

  • Demsetz, Harold

This essay broadens the theory of property rights, extending it beyond one based on changes in the importance of externality problems to one that is focused on quite different aspects of exchange. It argues that these aspects have been changing in ways that generally, but not always, have increased capitalism's productivity relative to collectivism's. The nature of transactions emphasized here has no necessary connection to, but does not exclude, externality problems. The focus here is on aspects of the relationship between parties who are engaged in exchange activities. Observations on historical happenings supplement the otherwise mainly conceptual and theoretical discussion. Copyright 2002 by the University of Chicago.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Legal Studies.

Volume (Year): 31 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: S653-72

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:31:y:2002:i:2:p:s653-72
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLS/

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