Property rights in land: institutional innovations, social appropiations, and path dependence
This paper addresses critically, from the standpoints of social history and sociology, dominant views on path dependence, institutions and property in the New Institutional Economics and Law and Economics literatures, which we find lacking in what concerns the analysis of concrete social relationships and processes. We argue for an approach to property rights, specifically in land, that goes beyond the perspective on property as an institution and builds on the analytical potential of the definition of property rights as social relations, as well as for the view of property as a bundle of rights and against the revival of the absolute concept of property under a juridical numerus clausus of property forms. We submit that it is at this more concrete level of social relations that we may detect the historical sequences of events and outcomes generating path dependence.
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