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Estate Acts, 1600 to 1830: A New Source for British History

  • Dan Bogart
  • Gary Richardson

A new database demonstrates that between 1600 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 landholding and inheritance laws. This essay provides a factual foundation for research on this important topic: the law and economics of property rights during the period preceding the Industrial Revolution. Tables present time-series, cross-sectional, and panel data that should serve as a foundation for empirical analysis. Preliminary analysis indicates ways in which this new evidence may shape our understanding of British economic and social history.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w14393.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14393.

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Date of creation: Oct 2008
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Publication status: published as Dan Bogart, Gary Richardson (2010), Estate acts, 1600–1830: A new source for British history, in Alexander J. Field (ed.) Research in Economic History (Research in Economic History, Volume 27), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.1-50
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14393
Note: DAE LE POL
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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  1. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521457385 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Clark, Gregory, 1998. "Commons Sense: Common Property Rights, Efficiency, and Institutional Change," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(01), pages 73-102, March.
  3. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Government," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. J. R. Wordie, 1983. "The Chronology of English Enclosure, 1500-1914," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 36(4), pages 483-505, November.
  5. RAFAEL LaPORTA & FLORENCIO LOPEZ-de-SILANES & ANDREI SHLEIFER & ROBERT W. VISHNY, . "Legal Determinants of External Finance,"," CRSP working papers 324, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  6. Coase, R H, 1974. "The Lighthouse in Economics," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 357-76, October.
  7. 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.
  8. Thompson, F. M. L. (ed.), 1994. "Landowners, Capitalists, and Entrepreneurs: Essays for Sir John Habakkuk," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198283010, March.
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