Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1999105
 
 

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A Search-Theoretic Critique of Georgism


Zachary Gochenour


George Mason University - Department of Economics

Bryan Caplan


George Mason University - Center for Study of Public Choice

February 14, 2012


Abstract:     
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

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Date posted: February 6, 2012 ; Last revised: March 28, 2012

Suggested Citation

Gochenour, Zachary and Caplan, Bryan, A Search-Theoretic Critique of Georgism (February 14, 2012). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1999105 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1999105

Contact Information

Zachary Gochenour (Contact Author)
George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
Bryan Caplan
George Mason University - Center for Study of Public Choice ( email )
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-2324 (Phone)
703-993-2323 (Fax)
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