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Protecting Antiquities: A Role for Long-Term Leases?

  • Michael Kremer, Tom Wilkening

Most countries prohibit the export of certain antiquities. This practice often leads to illegal excavation and looting for the black market, which damages the items and compromises the archaeological record. We consider the prospect of long-term antiquity leases and sales contracts with a pre-arranged repurchase option. Such mechanisms could raise revenue for the country of origin, while preserving long-term national ownership rights. We show that leases, which leave the country of origin in charge of future recontracting, are optimal mechanisms for resolving adverse selection, and that they have good properties for addressing corruption. Option contracts deliver more revenue now and are therefore useful for reducing credit constraints. Allowing those who disclose the existence of antiquities the right to lease objects overseas for a xed period could create incentives to reveal the location of hidden objects.

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File URL: http://fbe.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0012/801021/1114.pdf
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Paper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 1114.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:1114
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne, 4th Floor, FBE Building, Level 4, 111 Barry Street. Victoria, 3010, Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 5355
Fax: +61 3 8344 6899
Web page: http://www.economics.unimelb.edu.au
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  1. Michael Kremer & Seema Jayachandran, 2002. "Odious Debt," NBER Working Papers 8953, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Roth, Alvin, 2007. "Repugnance as a Constraint on Markets," Scholarly Articles 2624677, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Bénabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2007. "Identity, Dignity and Taboos: Beliefs as Assets," CEPR Discussion Papers 6123, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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