Does Economic Development Require ‘Certain’ Property Rights?

“Does Economic Development Require ‘Certain’ Property Rights?” In Sandra S. Batie & Nicholas Mercuro, eds. Alternative Institutional Structures: Evolution & Impact. (New York: Routledge) 2008, 77-90.

8 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2015  

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics

J. Robert Subrick

James Madison University

Date Written: September 21, 2015

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to re-examine the conventional wisdom regarding the impact of increased levels of secure property rights on the level of income per capita across the world. Rather than focus on increasing the level of security for property rights, economic development involves identifying the optimal level of property rights insecurity. In order to understand the role of insecure property rights in promoting economic development, we apply Allan Schmid's (2006) basic insight - sometimes property is excessively secure - into understanding the relative economic performances of Great Britain in the years prior and following the Glorious Revolution, France in the decades before and after the French Revolution, and the United States from independence to the Civil War. In each instance, reforms moved the level of insecure property rights closer to their optimal level.

Keywords: property rights, economic development, Allan Schmid

JEL Classification: O17; P14

Suggested Citation

Boettke, Peter J. and Subrick, J. Robert, Does Economic Development Require ‘Certain’ Property Rights? (September 21, 2015). “Does Economic Development Require ‘Certain’ Property Rights?” In Sandra S. Batie & Nicholas Mercuro, eds. Alternative Institutional Structures: Evolution & Impact. (New York: Routledge) 2008, 77-90. . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2663489

Peter J. Boettke (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-1149 (Phone)
703-993-1133 (Fax)

J. Robert Subrick

James Madison University ( email )

Harrisonburg, VA 22807
United States
540-568-3096 (Phone)

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