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Law, Endowments, and Property Rights

  • Ross Levine

While scholars have hypothesized about the sources of variation in property rights for over 2500 years, it is only very recently that researchers have begun to test these theories empirically. This paper reviews both the theory and empirical evidence supporting and refuting the law and endowment views of property rights. The law view holds that historically determined differences in national legal traditions continue to shape cross-country differences in property rights. The endowment view argues that during European colonization, differences in climate, crops, the indigenous population, and the disease environment influenced long-run property rights.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11502.

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Date of creation: Aug 2005
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Publication status: published as Levine, Ross. "Law, Endowments and Property Rights," Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2005, v19(3,Summer), 61-88.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11502
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