Tuesday, May 15, 2012
"Property rights" is a phrase more often treated normatively than positively. "Property rights" are often seen as something essential to a modern economy and/or economic development. But less of the literature makes an effort to define what property rights actually are.
Which is interesting, as both parts of the term - the word "property" and the word "rights" are often contested terms. It seems they can each be extensively debated on their own, but once we put them together, no debate is needed: we have a clear, monolithic, normative phrase.
I disagree. But do others? And if you disagree, what is the best working definition of "property rights" that you have seen?