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This paper serves as an introduction to institutions and property rights to be used as Chapter 2 of Alston, Mueller and Nonnenmacher's textbook "Institutional and Organizational Analysis: Concepts and Applications." We begin with a Northian definition of institutions as "the humanly devised constraints that shape human interaction." These constraints can(More)
We provide a new and more complete analysis of the origins of the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, one of the most severe environmental crises in North America in the twentieth century. Severe drought and wind erosion hit the Great Plains in 1930 and lasted through 1940. There were similar droughts in the 1950s and 1970s, but no comparable level of wind erosion. We(More)
The future looked bright for Argentina in the early twentieth century. It achieved high levels of income per capita and was moving away from authoritarian government, towards a true democracy, with a system of checks and balances. Unfortunately, Argentina never finished the transition. The turning point away from the road towards checks and balances(More)
This article provides new empirical results regarding the demand for and supply of title, the impact of title on land value, and its effects on agricultural investment on Brazilian frontiers. We present survey data from 1992 and 1993 from the state of Para on the characteristics of the settlers, land tenure, land agencies involved, land values, and(More)
Government policies are needed when people's behaviors fail to deliver the public good. Those policies will be most effective if they can stimulate long-term changes in beliefs and norms, creating and reinforcing the behaviors needed to solidify and extend the public good.It is often the short-term acceptability of potential policies, rather than their(More)
We extend the literature on interest group behavior and economic policy outcomes by examining how groups with limited resources (votes and campaign contributions) effectively influence political action through the control of information provided to voters through the media. Voters in turn lobby politicians to take actions desired by the group. In this(More)
This paper analyzes a model of rural conflicts in Brazil involving squatters, landowners, the President, the courts and INCRA, the land reform agency. In this model squatters and landowners strategically choose to engage in violence taking into consideration how this affects the probability that the land will be expropriated in the squatters' favor as part(More)
The paper explores how merchants enabled long-distance trade in the Mediterranean before and after the Black Death. The Black Death disrupted the flows of information about commercial prospects upon which merchants depended for deciding when, where, and in which commodities to trade. The disruption of information impinged how merchants contracted the(More)