Property, Predation and Socialist Reality

30 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2019 Last revised: 25 Aug 2019

See all articles by Peter J. Boettke

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Date Written: July 24, 2019


Economics as a social science is about exchange and the institutions within which exchange relationships are formed and transactions are executed. Yoram Barzel’s contribution to economics and political economy reflect this focus on exchange and institutions. In this paper, I will sketch a theory of real-existing socialist economies from a property rights/public choice perspective. Then I present the puzzles in political economy that such a system confronted in attempting to create a prosperous, regenerating and competitive economic system. I then conclude with a short discussion of the future for a progressive research program in political economy that takes institutional change seriously.

Keywords: Yoram Barzel, Socialism, Property Rights

JEL Classification: P14, P16, P26, P30

Suggested Citation

Boettke, Peter J., Property, Predation and Socialist Reality (July 24, 2019). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 19-26. Available at SSRN: or

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)

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