Ecological Influences on Informal Property Rights

44 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2016

See all articles by Erik O. Kimbrough

Erik O. Kimbrough

Chapman University - The George L. Argyros School of Business & Economics

Date Written: July 4, 2016

Abstract

This paper explores the possibility that informal property right systems evolve unique features as a function of the characteristics of the resources over which they are established. We develop a model to show how the emergent character of informal property rights in land varies with the distribution and renewability of resources. Simulations suggest that property will be most secure when resources are renewable and evenly distributed and least secure when resources are renewable but unevenly distributed. We test the predictions of the simulations in the laboratory with cash-motivated human subjects. The results confirm that informal property rights adapt to resource characteristics in a manner largely consistent with the model.

Keywords: property rights, exhaustible resources, renewable resources, simulation, experimental economics, institutions

JEL Classification: B41, C63, C92, D83, Q2, Q3

Suggested Citation

Kimbrough, Erik O., Ecological Influences on Informal Property Rights (July 4, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2804870 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2804870

Erik O. Kimbrough (Contact Author)

Chapman University - The George L. Argyros School of Business & Economics ( email )

One University Dr
Orange, CA 92866
United States

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