On the origins of property rights: Conflict and production in the state of nature

Catherine Hafer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    I analyse the emergence of property rights in a model of conflict and production in the absence of institutions of enforcement. The population of agents evolves dynamically through conflicts for possession of factor goods among pairs of randomly matched agents. Conflicts are incomplete information wars of attrition with an agent's type consisting of his or her independently drawn valuation of the prize and cost of competing for it. I prove equilibrium existence and show that in the steady state of the game, the population sorts into two stable groups (resource "haves" and "have-nots") in accordance with a known function of their primitive types.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)119-143
    Number of pages25
    JournalReview of Economic Studies
    Volume73
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 2006

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics and Econometrics

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