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Property Rights and Property Wrongs
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Secure property rights are central to economic development and stable government, yet difficult to create. Relying on surveys in Russia from 2000 to 2012, Timothy Frye examines how political power, institutions, and norms shape property rights for firms. Through a series of simple survey experiments, Property Rights and Property Wrongs explores how political power, personal connections, elections, concerns for reputation, legal facts, and social norms influence property rights disputes from hostile corporate takeovers to debt collection to renationalization. This work argues that property rights in Russia are better seen as an evolving bargain between rulers and rightholders than as simply a reflection of economic transition, Russian culture, or a weak state. The result is a nuanced view of the political economy of Russia that contributes to central debates in economic development, comparative politics, and legal studies.


‘Security of property rights is a key economic institution of capitalism and the most important determinant of growth-enhancing investment. So why don't all countries protect private property rights? The answer is politics. For more than twenty years, Timothy Frye has studied the political legitimacy of property rights in Russia, the country which has carried out a unique century-long experiment in property rights protection. For three quarters of a century Russia destroyed private ownership and then tried to recreate it – with mixed results at best. Studying formal and informal institutions, Professor Frye explains the failures and successes of Russian capitalism. This book is a must read for all future reformers and especially for privatizers.'

Sergei Guriev - Chief Economist, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

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