Institutional Adaptability and Economic Development: The Property Rights Revolution in Britain, 1700 to 1830

51 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2008 Last revised: 5 Aug 2010

See all articles by Gary Richardson

Gary Richardson

University of California at Irvine; National Bureau of Economic Research

Daniel E. Bogart

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 2008

Abstract

Adaptable property-rights institutions, we argue, foster economic development. The British example illustrates this point. Around 1700, Parliament established a forum where rights to land and resources could be reorganized. This venue enabled landholders and communities to take advantage of economic opportunities that could not be accommodated by the inflexible rights regime inherited from the past. In this essay, historical evidence, archival data, and statistical analysis demonstrate that Parliament increased the number of acts reorganizing property rights in response to increases in the public's demand for such acts. This evidence corroborates a cornerstone of our hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

Richardson, Gary and Bogart, Daniel E., Institutional Adaptability and Economic Development: The Property Rights Revolution in Britain, 1700 to 1830 (January 2008). NBER Working Paper No. w13757, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1088671

Gary Richardson (Contact Author)

University of California at Irvine ( email )

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Daniel E. Bogart

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics ( email )

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Irvine, CA 92697-5100
United States

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