Western Expansion as a Common Pool Problem: The Contrasting Histories of the Brazilian and North-American Pioneers

American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 68, No. 3, pp. 775-789, July 2009

Posted: 10 Sep 2011

See all articles by Fernando Zanella

Fernando Zanella

United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) - Department of Economics

Christopher Westley

Florida Gulf Coast University

Date Written: September 9, 2009

Abstract

Before the year 1600, Brazil and the United States were very similar regions in terms of geographic development and colonial status, and yet both countries developed in remarkably different ways. In this article, we apply institutional analysis and the common pool approach to explain differences in the western expansion of Brazil and the United States. We find that (i) such analysis complements much of the previous literature that heretofore explained differences in these regions using sociological and ideological analytical tools, and (ii) the theory that the distinctive behavior between the Brazilian "bandeirantes" and the North American pioneers is due to sociological factors is refuted.

Keywords: institutional economics, neoinstitutional economics, economic history, economic development, Brazil

Suggested Citation

Zanella, Fernando and Westley, Christopher, Western Expansion as a Common Pool Problem: The Contrasting Histories of the Brazilian and North-American Pioneers (September 9, 2009). American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 68, No. 3, pp. 775-789, July 2009 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1925131

Fernando Zanella

United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) - Department of Economics ( email )

Al-Ain
United Arab Emirates

Christopher Westley (Contact Author)

Florida Gulf Coast University ( email )

Ft. Myers, FL 33965-6565
United States

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