Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/226324
Authors: 
Finley, Theresa
Franck, Raphaël
Johnson, Noel D.
Year of Publication: 
2020
Series/Report no.: 
CESifo Working Paper No. 8622
Abstract: 
This study exploits the confiscation and auctioning off of Church property that occurred during the French Revolution to assess the role played by transaction costs in delaying the reallocation of property rights in the aftermath of fundamental institutional reform. French districts with a greater proportion of land redistributed during the Revolution experienced higher levels of agricultural productivity in 1841 and 1852 as well as more investment in irrigation and more efficient land use. We trace these increases in productivity to an increase in land inequality associated with the Revolutionary auction process. We also show how the benefits associated with the head-start given to districts with more Church land initially, and thus greater land redistribution by auction during the Revolution, dissipated over the course of the nineteenth century as other districts gradually overcame the transaction costs associated with reallocating the property rights associated with the feudal system.
Subjects: 
institutions
property rights
French Revolution
Coase Theorem
JEL: 
N53
O43
P14
D47
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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