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Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Slavery and other property rights

Lagerlöf, Nils-Petter (2003): Slavery and other property rights.

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Abstract

The institution of slavery is found mostly at intermediate stages of agricultural development, and less often among hunter-gatherers and advanced agrarian societies. We explain this pattern in a growth model with land and labor as inputs in production, and an endogenously determined property rights institution. The economy endogenously transits from an egalitarian state with equal property rights, to a despotic slave society where the elite own both people and land; thereafter it endogenously transits into a free labor society, where the elite own the land, but people are free.

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