A Search-Theoretic Critique of Georgism
George Mason University - Department of Economics
George Mason University - Center for Study of Public Choice
February 14, 2012
We develop a critique of the single-tax proposal of Henry George. We present a simple search-theoretic model for the discovery of natural resources and show that a tax on the unimproved value of land is distortionary. We then consider the time inconsistency and regime uncertainty problem created by even incremental Georgist policy. We discuss historical cases of land reform and the subsequent challenge to re-establish a credible commitment to property rights in land and natural resources.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 17
Keywords: Henry George, search theory, property rights, natural resources, regime uncertainty
JEL Classification: H21, Q15
Date posted: February 6, 2012 ; Last revised: March 28, 2012
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