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An Equilibrium Conflict Model of Land Tenure in Hunter-Gatherer Societies

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  • Matthew J. Baker

Abstract

I apply features of the economics of conflict and spatial competition in developing a model of the emergence of land ownership in hunter-gatherer societies. Tenure regimes are the result of interactions between those seeking to defend claims to land and those seeking to infringe on those claims. The model highlights the dependence of land ownership on ecological parameters, such as resource density and predictability, and allows for situational ownership, in which the nature of ownership changes as realized ecological conditions change. The paper concludes with a comparative assessment of tenure across a representative sample of hunter-gatherer peoples.

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  • Matthew J. Baker, 2003. "An Equilibrium Conflict Model of Land Tenure in Hunter-Gatherer Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(1), pages 124-173, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:111:y:2003:i:1:p:124-173
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    1. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1991. "The Technology of Conflict as an Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 130-134, May.
    2. Bailey, Martin J, 1992. "Approximate Optimality of Aboriginal Property Rights," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 183-198, April.
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