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Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 10 No. 2 (Spring 1996)

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The Roles of the State and the Market in Establishing Property Rights

Article Citation

Rapaczynski, Andrzej. 1996. "The Roles of the State and the Market in Establishing Property Rights." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 10(2): 87-103.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.10.2.87

Abstract

Using the experiences of Eastern Europe as an example, this article argues that, contrary to the economists' assumption that property rights are a precondition of a market economy, market institutions are often a prerequisite for a viable private property regime. Progress in the development of complex property rights in Eastern Europe, thus, cannot be expected to come primarily from a perfection of the legal system. Instead, it is more likely to arise as a market response to the demand for property rights. Indeed, legal entitlements can only be expected to become effective against a background of self-enforcing market mechanisms.

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Authors

Rapaczynski, Andrzej (Columbia U)

JEL Classifications

D23: Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
P21: Socialist Systems and Transitional Economies: Planning, Coordination, and Reform
P26: Socialist Systems and Transitional Economies: Political Economy; Property Rights

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