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

  • Campos-Ortiz, Francisco


    (Bank of Mexico)

  • Putterman, Louis


    (Brown University)

  • Ahn, T.K.


    (Seoul National University)

  • Balafoutas, Loukas


    (University of Innsbruck)

  • Batsaikhan, Mongoljin


    (Georgetown University)

  • Sutter, Matthias


    (University of Cologne)

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 Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6982.

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Length: 73 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6982
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  7. 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.
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