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Security of Property as a Public Good: Institutions, Socio-Political Environment and Experimental Behavior in Five Countries

  • Francisco Campos-Ortiz
  • Louis Putterman
  • T. K. Ahn
  • Loukas Balafoutas
  • Mongoljin Batsaikhan
  • Matthias Sutter

We study experimentally the protection of property in five widely distinct countries-Austria, Mexico, Mongolia, South Korea and the United States. Our main results are the correlations between experimental choices with indicators regarding the security of property, trust and the quality of government. We show that subjects from countries with: (1) higher levels of trust or perceptions of safety are more prone to abstain from plundering and devote less resources to protect their property; and (2) high-quality political institutions support collective protection of property through taxation more often. Our results highlight the relevance of socio-political factors in determining countries' success in addressing collective action problems including safeguarding property rights.

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Paper provided by Banco de México in its series Working Papers with number 2012-12.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:bdm:wpaper:2012-12
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