A Research Agenda for New Institutional Economics
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A Research Agenda for New Institutional Economics

Edited by Claude Ménard and Mary M. Shirley

Consisting of 30 concise chapters written by top scholars, this Research Agenda probes the knowledge frontiers of issues long at the forefront of New Institutional Economics (NIE), including government, contracts and property rights. It examines pressing research questions surrounding norms, culture, and beliefs. It is designed to inform and inspire students and those starting their careers in economics, law and political science. Well-established scholars will also find the book invaluable in updating their understanding of crucial research questions and seeking new areas to explore.
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Chapter 14: Property rights and economic development: taking stock, looking ahead

Carmine Guerriero


Although property rights are crucial to economic development, our understanding of their origins remains limited. A recent strand of research, however, has made a major advance by documenting that the ex post misallocation – driven by the mix of strongly protected property rights and large transaction costs – explains the distribution of property rights significantly better than does the disincentive effect of predation by the state and powerful elites. This conclusion leads to several key questions on the impact of the protection of property rights on the extent of private expropriation, the scope of firms, the size of markets and, ultimately, economic development. This chapter illustrates the challenges involved in answering these questions, and highlights potential policy implications.

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