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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 that the security of property varies with experimental institutions, and that our subject pools exhibit significantly different behaviors that correlate with country-level property security, trust and quality of government. Subjects from countries with higher levels of trust or perceptions of safety are more prone to abstain initially from theft and devote more resources to production, and subjects from countries with higher quality political institutions are more supportive of protecting property through compulsory taxation. This highlights 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 Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck in its series Working Papers with number 2012-26.

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Length: 80
Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2012-26
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  1. Sutter, Matthias & Kocher, Martin G., 2007. "Trust and trustworthiness across different age groups," Munich Reprints in Economics 18182, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Thöni, Christian & Tyran, Jean-Robert & Wengström, Erik, 2012. "Microfoundations of social capital," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(7-8), pages 635-643.
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  11. Carter, John R. & Anderton, Charles H., 2001. "An experimental test of a predator-prey model of appropriation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 83-97, May.
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  14. Kimbrough, Erik O. & Smith, Vernon L. & Wilson, Bart J., 2010. "Exchange, theft, and the social formation of property," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 206-229, June.
  15. Vincent P. Crawford & Uri Gneezy & Yuval Rottenstreich, 2008. "The Power of Focal Points Is Limited: Even Minute Payoff Asymmetry May Yield Large Coordination Failures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1443-58, September.
  16. Colin Camerer & Ernst Fehr & Herbert Gintis & Joseph Henrich & Richard McElreath & Robert Boyd & Samuel Bowles, 2001. "In search of homo economicus: Experiments in 15 small-scale societies," Artefactual Field Experiments 00068, The Field Experiments Website.
  17. 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.
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