Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=286699
 
 

References (51)



 
 

Citations (2)



 


 



U.S. Land Policy, Property Rights, and the Dust Bowl of the 1930s


Zeynep K. Hansen


Washington University in Saint Louis - John M. Olin Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Gary D. Libecap


University of California, Santa Barbara - Donald Bren School of Environmental Science & Management; University of Arizona - Karl Eller Center; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

September 2001

FEEM Working Paper No. 69.2001

Abstract:     
The process of assigning property rights to land in the American Great Plains resulted in farms that were too small to be economically viable. These farms were prime contributors to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. The path dependence resulting from the initial assignment of property rights on the Great Plains was slow to be corrected. The transactions costs of property rights reallocation from homesteads to larger farms were high, in part due to government intervention. Local politicians sought to retain the dense, Midwest-like population base that homestead settlement had fostered, and they successfully lobbied the Federal Government for subsidies to maintain small family farms. The result was a halting process of farm size adjustment between 1920 and 1982. This case illustrates the difficult economic problems that can be raised by an inappropriate assignment of property rights. It cannot be assumed that a more efficient allocation of rights with fewer negative effects will occur quickly.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 50

Keywords: Property rights, Coase, Dust Bowl

JEL Classification: Q2, N4, N5, L5

working papers series





Download This Paper

Date posted: October 14, 2001  

Suggested Citation

Hansen, Zeynep K. and Libecap, Gary D., U.S. Land Policy, Property Rights, and the Dust Bowl of the 1930s (September 2001). FEEM Working Paper No. 69.2001. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=286699 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.286699

Contact Information

Zeynep Kocabiyik Hansen
Washington University in Saint Louis - John M. Olin Business School ( email )
One Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1133
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Gary D. Libecap (Contact Author)
University of California, Santa Barbara - Donald Bren School of Environmental Science & Management ( email )
4670 Physical Sciences North
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5131
United States
805-893-8611 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.esm.ucsb.edu/people/usernew.asp?user=glibecap
University of Arizona - Karl Eller Center ( email )
McClelland Hall
Tucson, AZ 85721-0108
United States
520-621-4821 (Phone)
520-626-5269 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.bpa.arizona.edu/~libecap
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
PERC - Property and Environment Research Center
2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 4,145
Downloads: 347
Download Rank: 49,913
References:  51
Citations:  2

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo1 in 0.438 seconds