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Making Property Productive: Reorganizing Rights to Real and Equitable Estates in Britain, 1660 to 1830

Author

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  • Dan Bogart
  • Gary Richardson

Abstract

Between 1660 and 1830, Parliament passed thousands of acts restructuring rights to real and equitable estates. These estate acts enabled individuals and families to sell, mortgage, lease, exchange, and improve land previously bound by inheritance rules and other legal legacies. The loosening of these legal constraints facilitated the reallocation of land and resources towards higher-value uses. Data reveals correlations between estate acts, urbanization, and economic development during the decades surrounding the Industrial Revolution.

Suggested Citation

  • Dan Bogart & Gary Richardson, 2008. "Making Property Productive: Reorganizing Rights to Real and Equitable Estates in Britain, 1660 to 1830," NBER Working Papers 14107, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14107
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w14107.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. La Porta, Rafael & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. " Legal Determinants of External Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1131-1150, July.
    2. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-279, April.
    3. Thompson, F. M. L. (ed.), 1994. "Landowners, Capitalists, and Entrepreneurs: Essays for Sir John Habakkuk," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198283010.
    4. repec:hrv:faseco:30728041 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Coase, R H, 1974. "The Lighthouse in Economics," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 357-376, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Benito Arruñada, 2017. "How to Make Land Titling more Rational," Working Papers 983, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    2. Gary D. Libecap & Dean Lueck & Trevor O'Grady, 2011. "Large-Scale Institutional Changes: Land Demarcation in the British Empire," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(S4), pages 295-327.
    3. Noel D. Johnson & Mark Koyama, 2014. "Taxes, Lawyers, and the Decline of Witch Trials in France," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(1), pages 77-112.
    4. Dan Bogart & Gary Richardson, 2008. "Estate Acts, 1600 to 1830: A New Source for British History," NBER Working Papers 14393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General
    • K11 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Property Law
    • N0 - Economic History - - General
    • N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N93 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns

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