Law, Endowments and Property Rights

Posted: 17 May 2006

See all articles by Ross Levine

Ross Levine

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Abstract

While scholars have hypothesized about the sources of variation in property rights for over 2500 years, it is only very recently that researchers have begun to test these theories empirically. This paper reviews both the theory and empirical evidence supporting and refuting the law and endowment views of property rights. The law view holds that historically determined differences in national legal traditions continue to shape cross-country differences in property rights. The endowment view argues that during European colonization, differences in climate, crops, the indigenous population, and the disease environment influenced long-run property rights.

Suggested Citation

Levine, Ross Eric, Law, Endowments and Property Rights. Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 18, No. 3, Summer 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=901942

Ross Eric Levine (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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