Fugitives and Agrarians in a World Without Frontiers

22 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2007

See all articles by James Ming Chen

James Ming Chen

Michigan State University - College of Law


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.

Keywords: wealth, economics, growth, agrarian, fugitive, agriculture, trade, property, redistribution, GATT, commerce clause, human capital, globalization

Suggested Citation

Chen, James Ming, Fugitives and Agrarians in a World Without Frontiers. Cardozo Law Review, Vol. 18, p. 1031, 1996. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=977339

James Ming Chen (Contact Author)

Michigan State University - College of Law ( email )

318 Law College Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics