The Political Economy of Land Privatization in Argentina and Australia, 1810-1850: A Puzzle
This paper examines a puzzle regarding public land privatization in New South Wales and the Province of Buenos Aires in the early nineteenth century. Both claimed frontier lands as public lands to raise revenue. New South Wales lost control of the public claim as squatters rushed out and claimed vast tracts of land. Property rights thus originated as de facto squattersâ€™ claims, which government subsequently partially accommodated as de jure property rights. Paradoxically, in Buenos Aires, where de jure property rights were less secure, original transfers of public lands were nonetheless specified de jure by government. The paper develops a model that explains these differences as a consequence of violence and the relative cost of enforcement of government claims to public land.
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- Umbeck, John, 1981. "Might Makes Rights: A Theory of the Formation and Initial Distribution of Property Rights," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 19(1), pages 38-59, January.
- Alston, Lee J. & Libecap, Gary D. & Mueller, Bernardo, 1999. "A model of rural conflict: violence and land reform policy in Brazil," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(02), pages 135-160, May.
- Alston, Lee J. & Harris, Edwyna & Mueller, Bernardo, 2012. "The Development of Property Rights on Frontiers: Endowments, Norms, and Politics," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(03), pages 741-770, September.
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