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Land Confiscations and land reform in Natural-Order States

  • Sumner La Croix

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa)

Social scientists argue that post-World War II land reforms in East Asia were critical ingredients in the region’s strong economic growth, but pay little attention to how large-scale land confiscations might affect the security of property rights in each country. A review of the history of large-scale land confiscations in early modern Europe, the United States and Hawai‘i provides a foundation for understanding the nature of modern land reform policies. The key insight is to recognize that East Asian states after World War II were natural state social orders in which new governments confiscate and redistribute property to bolster their coalition’s position and weaken opponents. In East Asia, land confiscations after World War II followed the pattern observed elsewhere, with victors taking and redistributing land from the losers of the war and subsequent civil wars primarily to bolster their newly installed political coalition and to maintain social order.

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File URL: http://www.economics.hawaii.edu/research/workingpapers/WP_14-6.pdf
File Function: First version, 2014
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Paper provided by University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 201406.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hai:wpaper:201406
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