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The Emergence of Strong Property Rights: Speculation from history

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  • Raghuram Rajan
  • Luigi Zingales

Abstract

How did citizens acquire rights protecting their property from the depredations of the government? In this paper, we argue that one important factor strengthening respect for property is how it is distributed. When there is some specificity associated with property, and property is held by those who are most productive, the distribution of property becomes relatively easy to defend. By contrast, when property is owned by those who get rents simply by virtue of ownership, the distribution of property becomes much harder to defend. We speculate on why some countries have been able to develop a climate of respect for property rights while others have not.

Suggested Citation

  • Raghuram Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2003. "The Emergence of Strong Property Rights: Speculation from history," NBER Working Papers 9478, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9478
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    Cited by:

    1. Besley, Timothy & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2010. "Property Rights and Economic Development," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    2. Thomas Gall & Paolo Masella, 2007. "A Tale of Markets and Jungles in a Simple Model of Growth," JEPS Working Papers 07-004, JEPS.
    3. Enrico C. Perotti & Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden, 2006. "The Political Economy of Corporate Control and Labor Rents," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(1), pages 145-174, February.
    4. Roe, Mark J. & Siegel, Jordan I., 2011. "Political instability: Effects on financial development, roots in the severity of economic inequality," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 279-309, September.
    5. Marc G Quintyn & Genevieve Verdier, 2010. "Mother, Can I Trust the Government? Sustained Financial Deepening; A Political Institutionsview," IMF Working Papers 10/210, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Tanja Kosi & Štefan Bojnec, 2013. "Institutional barriers to business entry in advanced economies," Journal of Business Economics and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2), pages 317-329, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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