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Economic History

Gary Richardson

Property Rights and the Industrial Revolution

Publication Year

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in Political Economy

Making Property Productive: Reorganizing Rights To Real And Equitable Estates In Britain, 1660 To 1830, Gary Richardson Dec 2008

Making Property Productive: Reorganizing Rights To Real And Equitable Estates In Britain, 1660 To 1830, Gary Richardson

Gary Richardson

Between 1660 and 1830, Parliament passed thousands of Acts restructuring rights to real and equitable estates. These estate Acts enabled individuals and families to sell, mortgage, lease, exchange and improve land previously bound by inheritance rules and other legal legacies. The loosening of these legal constraints facilitated the reallocation of land and resources towards higher-value uses. Data reveal correlations between estate Acts, urbanization and economic development during the decades surrounding the Industrial Revolution.


Estate Acts, 1600 To 1830: A New Source For British History, Gary Richardson Dec 2007

Estate Acts, 1600 To 1830: A New Source For British History, Gary Richardson

Gary Richardson

A new database demonstrates that between 1600 and 1830, Parliament passed thousands of acts restructuring rights to real and equitable estates. These estate acts enabled individuals and families to sell, mortgage, lease, exchange, and improve land previously bound by landholding and inheritance laws. This essay provides a factual foundation for research on this important topic: the law and economics of property rights during the period preceding the Industrial Revolution. Tables present time-series, cross-sectional, and panel data that should serve as a foundation for empirical analysis. Preliminary analysis indicates ways in which this new evidence may shape our understanding of British ...