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Information Sharing During the Klondike Gold Rush

  • Douglas W. Allen (a1)

When George Carmack struck gold in the Yukon territory on 17 August 1896, he freely shared the details and started what would eventually be three waves of rushes. This reflected a social norm of the Klondike, namely that any miner who struck gold would share this information. Miners did not behave this way in other nineteenth-century gold rushes. The article's hypothesis is that the extreme mining conditions and local geography of the Yukon led to very secure property rights over mining claims. Therefore, it took only a small incentive payment to induce miners to act in the social interest.

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