NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Property Rights and Parliament in Industrializing Britain

Daniel Bogart, Gary Richardson

NBER Working Paper No. 15697
Issued in January 2010
NBER Program(s):   DAE   LE   POL

During Britain’s industrialization, Parliament operated a forum where rights to land and resources could be reorganized. This venue enabled landholders and communities to exploit 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 demand for such acts. Tests with placebo groups confirm the robustness of this result. This evidence indicates that Parliament responded elastically to changes in the public’s demand for reorganizing property rights. Parliament’s efforts to adapt property rights to modern economic conditions may have accelerated Britain’s economic ascent

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15697

Published: Dan Bogart & Gary Richardson, 2011. "Property Rights and Parliament in Industrializing Britain," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(2), pages 241 - 274.

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