Fugitives and Agrarians in a World Without Frontiers
James Ming Chen
Michigan State University - College of Law
Cardozo Law Review, Vol. 18, p. 1031, 1996
The interplay between law and political economy dictates much of the wealth of nations. This article describes the clash between the two dominant models of economic development: fugitive and agrarian. In the agrarian model, growth is closely correlated with levels of investment in physical and human capital. Neither extraordinary risks nor returns are contemplated. By contrast, fugitive development stresses freedom of movement and unlimited risks and returns over security and self-sufficiency.
Laws that assume an agrarian model of development are diverging from economic trends that favor fugitive paths to prosperity. This mismatch foretells rough times for the nation-state in its role as a manager of growth and redistributor of wealth. The conflict between agrarian law and fugitive economics has profound implications for taxation and regulation in the global commons.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 22
Keywords: wealth, economics, growth, agrarian, fugitive, agriculture, trade, property, redistribution, GATT, commerce clause, human capital, globalization
Date posted: April 1, 2007