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Fence Laws vs. Herd Laws: A Nineteenth-Century Kansas Paradox


  • Nicolas Sanchez
  • Jeffrey B. Nugent


This study considers the conflict between farmers and cattle raisers over the fencing of animals and crops in Kansas during the 1870s. At that time, Kansas counties were given the option to retain the traditional fence laws (requiring crops to be fenced in) or to adopt the herd laws (requiring the restraining of animals by means of herding). Since barbed wire fencing did not reach Kansas until later, and a detailed agricultural census was recorded in 1875, this study tests alternative hypotheses as to why in 1875 approximately half the counties chose fence laws while the others chose herd laws.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolas Sanchez & Jeffrey B. Nugent, 2000. "Fence Laws vs. Herd Laws: A Nineteenth-Century Kansas Paradox," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 76(4), pages 518-533.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:76:y:2000:i:4:p:518-533

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert T. Deacon, 1994. "Deforestation and the Rule of Law in a Cross-Section of Countries," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 70(4), pages 414-430.
    2. Deacon Robert T., 1995. "Assessing the Relationship between Government Policy and Deforestation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-18, January.
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    7. Dewees, Peter A., 1995. "Trees on farms in Malawi: Private investment, public policy, and farmer choice," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(7), pages 1085-1102, July.
    8. Kahn, James R. & McDonald, Judith A., 1995. "Third-world debt and tropical deforestation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 107-123, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lueck, Dean & Miceli, Thomas J., 2007. "Property Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
      • Dean Lueck & Thomas J. Miceli, 2004. "Property Law," Working papers 2004-04, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N5 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries
    • K1 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law


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