The Demarcation of Land and the Role of Coordinating Property Institutions
We use a natural experiment in nineteenth-century Ohio to analyze the economic effects of two dominant land demarcation regimes, metes and bounds (MB) and the rectangular system (RS). MB is decentralized with plot shapes, alignment, and sizes defined individually; RS is a centralized grid of uniform square plots that does not vary with topography. We find large initial net benefits in land values from the RS and also that these effects persist into the twenty-first century. These findings reveal the importance of transaction costs and networks in affecting property rights, land values, markets, and economic growth.
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- Ferrie, Joseph P., 1994. "The Wealth Accumulation of Antebellum European Immigrants to the U.S., 1840–60," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(01), pages 1-33, March.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002.
"Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," NBER Working Papers 8460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gary D. Libecap & Dean Lueck & Trevor O'Grady, 2011. "Large-Scale Institutional Changes: Land Demarcation in the British Empire," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(S4), pages 295-327. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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