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

Author

Listed:
  • Dan Bogart
  • Gary Richardson

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14393
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w14393.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. 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.
    6. Coase, R H, 1974. "The Lighthouse in Economics," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 357-376, October.
    7. 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.
    8. J. R. Wordie, 1983. "The Chronology of English Enclosure, 1500-1914," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 36(4), pages 483-505, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cox, Gary W., 2012. "Was the Glorious Revolution a Constitutional Watershed?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(03), pages 567-600, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General
    • K11 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Property Law
    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • P14 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Property Rights
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy

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