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Securing Property Rights

Edward L. Glaeser, Giacomo Ponzetto () and Andrei Shleifer
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Edward L. Glaeser: Harvard University

Working Paper Series from Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government

Abstract: A central challenge in securing property rights is the subversion of justice through legal skill, bribery, or physical force by the strong--the state or its powerful citizens--against the weak. We present evidence that the less educated and poorer citizens in many countries feel their property rights are least secure. We then present a model of a farmer and a mine which can pollute his farm in a jurisdiction where the mine can subvert law enforcement. We show that, in this model, injunctions or other forms of property rules work better than compensation for damage or liability rules. The equivalences of the Coase Theorem break down in realistic ways. The case for injunctions is even stronger when parties can invest in power. Our approach sheds light on several controversies in law and economics, but also applies to practical problems in developing countries, such as low demand for formality, law enforcement under uncertain property rights, and unresolved conflicts between environmental damage and development.

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ene and nep-law
Date: 2016-09
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https://research.hks.harvard.edu/publications/getFile.aspx?Id=1441

Related works:
Working Paper: Securing property rights (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Securing Property Rights (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Securing Property Rights (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Securing Property Rights (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Securing Property Rights (2016) Downloads
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