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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Demsetz, Harold, 2002. "Toward a Theory of Property Rights II: The Competition between Private and Collective Ownership," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(2), pages 653-672, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:31:y:2002:i:2:p:s653-72

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joskow, Paul L, 1988. "Asset Specificity and the Structure of Vertical Relationships: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 95-117, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joireman, S.F., 2008. "The Mystery of Capital Formation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Women, Property Rights and Customary Law," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 1233-1246, July.
    2. Quinn, C.H. & Fraser, E.D.G. & Hubacek, K. & Reed, M.S., 2010. "Property rights in UK uplands and the implications for policy and management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 1355-1363, April.
    3. Granville, Brigitte & Leonard, Carol S., 2010. "Do Informal Institutions Matter for Technological Change in Russia? The Impact of Communist Norms and Conventions, 1998-2004," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 155-169, February.
    4. Nagase, Yoko & Uehara, Takuro, 2011. "Evolution of population-resource dynamics models," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 9-17.
    5. Basu, Sudipta & Kirk, Marcus & Waymire, Greg, 2009. "Memory, transaction records, and The Wealth of Nations," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 895-917, November.
    6. repec:eee:jeborg:v:137:y:2017:i:c:p:282-303 is not listed on IDEAS

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