Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1374980
 
 

Citations (4)



 
 

Footnotes (98)



 


 



Evolutionary Theory and the Origin of Property Rights


James E. Krier


University of Michigan Law School

November 18, 2009

Cornell Law Review, Vol. 95, p. 139, 2009
U of Michigan Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 09-006
U of Michigan Public Law Working Paper No. 147

Abstract:     
Legal scholars have never settled on a satisfactory account of the evolution of property rights. The touchstone for virtually all discussion, Harold Demsetz's Toward a Theory of Property Rights, has a number of well-known (and not so well-known) shortcomings, perhaps because it was never intended to be taken as an evolutionary explanation in the first place. There is, in principle at least, a pretty straightforward fix for the sort of evolutionary approach pursued by followers of Demsetz, but even then that approach - call it the conventional approach - fails to account for very early property rights, right at the genesis. The early developments are better explained by a very different approach based on evolutionary game theory. The game theoretic approach can account for a basic system of property rights rooted in possession; it cannot, however, account for complex property systems. To explain the latter requires the conventional approach. Hence, the two approaches combined suggest a satisfactory account of the origins and development of property rights systems.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 23

Keywords: Harold Demsetz, property rights, evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS)

JEL Classification: K00, K11

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: April 8, 2009 ; Last revised: November 19, 2009

Suggested Citation

Krier, James E., Evolutionary Theory and the Origin of Property Rights (November 18, 2009). Cornell Law Review, Vol. 95, p. 139, 2009; U of Michigan Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 09-006; U of Michigan Public Law Working Paper No. 147. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1374980

Contact Information

James E. Krier (Contact Author)
University of Michigan Law School ( email )
625 South State Street
1039 Legal Research Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States
734-764-4701 (Phone)
734-764-8309 (Fax)
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 3,323
Downloads: 618
Download Rank: 22,441
Citations:  4
Footnotes:  98

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo3 in 0.438 seconds