The Emergence of Strong Property Rights: Speculation from History

37 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2003  

Raghuram G. Rajan

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; International Monetary Fund (IMF); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Luigi Zingales

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: February 2003

Abstract

How did citizens acquire rights protecting their property from the depredations of the government? In this paper, we argue that one important factor strengthening respect for property is how it is distributed. When there is some specificity associated with property, and property is held by those who are most productive, the distribution of property becomes relatively easy to defend. By contrast, when property is owned by those who get rents simply by virtue of ownership, the distribution of property becomes much harder to defend. We speculate on why some countries have been able to develop a climate of respect for property rights while others have not.

Suggested Citation

Rajan, Raghuram G. and Zingales, Luigi, The Emergence of Strong Property Rights: Speculation from History (February 2003). NBER Working Paper No. w9478. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=375330

Raghuram G. Rajan (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

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International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Luigi Zingales

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

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Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-3196 (Phone)
773-834-2081 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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United Kingdom

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