Lee J. Alston

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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 introduce financial constraints in a theoretical analysis of illegal immigration. Intermediaries finance the migration costs of wealth-constrained migrants, who enter temporary servitude contracts to pay back the debt. These debt/labor contracts are more easily enforceable in the illegal than in the legal sector of the host country. Hence, when moving(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)
Lee J. Alston and Joseph P. Ferrie, Southern Paternalism and the AmericanWelfare State, NewYork: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Michael K. Brown, Race, Money, and the American Welfare State, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999. Martin Gilens,Why Americans Hate Welfare, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999. Michael Gold¢eld,The Color of Politics:(More)
How do property rights evolve when unoccupied areas attract economic use? Who are the first claimants on the frontier and how do they establish their property rights? When do governments provide de jure property rights? We present a conceptual framework that addresses these questions and apply it to the frontiers of Australia, Brazil and the U.S. Our(More)
The use of payment for environmental services (PES) is not a new type of contract, but PES programs have become more in vogue because of the potential for sequestering carbon by paying to prevent deforestation and degradation of forestlands. We provide a framework utilizing transaction costs to hypothesize which services are more likely to be provided(More)