Coase (1960), Alchian (1965), Demsetz (1967, Alchian & Demsetz 1973), Williamson (1971, 1985) and others laid the groundwork of the new institutional economics, of which property rights and contract design and enforcement constituted a core component (for reviews and syntheses,
see Furubotn & Pejovich 1972, Barzel 1997).
North & Thomas 1973; North 1981, 1990; see also Haber et al. 2003).
(Acemoglu et al. 2001, 2005; Rodrik et al. 2002; Easterly & Levine 2003; Helpman 2004 for an
overview of the new growth literature).
Williamson 1985 and Barzel 1997
More robust property rights
protection—typically measured through survey
data on risk of expropriation (e.g., from
the International Country Risk Guide) or including
risk of expropriation as a component
of a wider index (per Kaufmann 2003a,b)—are
indeed associated with better long-run economic
performance (Knack & Keefer 1995;
Scully 1988; Clague et al. 1996, 1999; Zak &
Knack 2001; Keefer & Knack 2002; Keefer
& Johnson (2005) find that the effects of
property rights on growth, investment, and
financial development trump the effects of
institutions ensuring the integrity of contracts.
extensive corruption during their transformative
decades (Campos 2001, Rock & Bonnett