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Gold and silver mining in the 16th and 17th centuries, land titles and agricultural productivity

Md. Islam (), Jakob Madsen () and Paul Raschky ()

European Journal of Political Economy, 2015, vol. 39, issue C, 150-166

Abstract: Although agricultural productivity is critical for economic development very little is known about the causes of the large dispersion in agricultural productivity across the world. Microeconomic studies increasingly stress the lack of land rights in many poor countries as an important source of low productivity. This paper examines the role played by land titles in explaining differences in agricultural productivity for 93 countries. Using the per capita accumulated value of gold and silver production in the 16th and 17th centuries as instruments for land rights it is shown that enforcement of land titles is a significant source of agricultural productivity inequality across the world.

Keywords: Land titles; Agricultural productivity; Forced labor (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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European Journal of Political Economy is currently edited by J. De Haan, A. L. Hillman and H. W. Ursprung

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