What Are the Lessons of the American Frontier for the Developing World?
Forthcoming, APSA Comparative Politics Newsletter
8 Pages Posted: 23 May 2019
Date Written: April 25, 2019
In this paper, we review our research on property rights institutions in two contexts: the American frontier and Afghanistan. Our analysis shows that in each context, self-governance of property is an important feature of the institutional landscape, but failings of the Afghan state explain why legal private property has remained a hollow institution in most parts of the country throughout its history. It is also clear that we ought not to expect legal titling to work the way it did in the U.S. when these policies are exported to fragile states like Afghanistan.
Keywords: property rights, self-governance, legal titling, customary governance, U.S. frontier, Afghanistan
JEL Classification: B52, H13, O17
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation