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Institutions, Property Rights and Growth

  • Paul J. ZAK

    (Claremont Graduate University)

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    This paper presents a growth model in which property rights are insecure and costly to enforce. Losses of property provide the impetus to establish institutions which seek to enforce property rights. Institutions are shown to implement policies that enforce property rights. The model establishes that economies in which the institutional structure does not adequately protect property rights grow slowly, or not at ail, while countries with better property rights protection grow in accordance with the standard neoclassical model. Because income inequality is a primary incentive to violate another's property rights, the model also provides a positive theory of income redistribution. Empirical tests of the model's predictions demonstrates that government expenditures that enforce property rights raise per capita income growth.

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    File URL: http://sites.uclouvain.be/econ/DP/REL/2002014.pdf
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    Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) with number 2002014.

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    Length: 20
    Date of creation: 01 Mar 2002
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvre:2002014
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    Web page: http://www.uclouvain.be/iresEmail:


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    7. Roubini, Nouriel & Swagel, Phillip & Ozler, Sule & Alesina, Alberto, 1996. "Political Instability and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4553024, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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    14. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
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    22. Caballe, Jordi & Manresa, Antonio, 1994. "Social rents, interest rates, and growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 413-419.
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    24. Perotti, Roberto, 1996. " Growth, Income Distribution, and Democracy: What the Data Say," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 149-87, June.
    25. Grossman, Herschel I & Kim, Minseong, 1995. "Swords or Plowshares? A Theory of the Security of Claims to Property," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1275-88, December.
    26. Grossman, Herschel I., 1995. "Robin hood and the redistribution of property income," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 399-410, September.
    27. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
    28. Zak, Paul J & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 295-321, April.
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