Working Paper No. 05-38:
The Fall and Rise of Functional Property
Date Posted: 2005
Abstract (below) | Full text (most recent) on SSRN
In spite of its stability as a fundamental institution of human society, the concept of property and the privileges, obligations, and restrictions that govern ownership have undergone substantial change throughout history. In this essay, I consider the main stages in the evolution of property and discuss some of the important structural variations of the legal and social conceptions of property. The comparative and historical study of the institution of property reveals a close relationship between the structure of an economic system and the structure and content of property rights.