Property Rights within a Theory of Entangled Political Economy
31 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2020
Date Written: November 1, 2020
This paper is concerned with the way economists conceptualize the relationship between politics and property rights. It is customary for economists to treat polity and economy as comprising separate domains of human action. In contrast, we treat society as a single domain of action comprised of different forms of organization where the entities organized within polity are entangled with those organized within economy. What results from this alternative analytical scheme is abandonment of the presumption of truly settled property rights in favor of recognition that property rights are always potentially open to contestation. To be sure, we would also note that with a ten percent rate of discount, something that can be retained for seven years is about half as valuable as something that can be retained forever. Nonetheless, entanglement calls attention to the processes through which rights of action are established and challenged.
Keywords: property rights, entangled political economy, human nature, perpetual contestation
JEL Classification: B41, D70, P14, P16, P48
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation