Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1996

Center/Program

European Legal Studies Center

Abstract

Using the experiences of Eastern Europe as an example, this article argues that, contrary to the economists' assumption that property rights are a precondition of a market economy, market institutions are often a prerequisite for a viable private property regime. Progress in the development of complex property rights in Eastern Europe, thus, cannot be expected to come primarily from a perfection of the legal system. Instead, it is more likely to arise as a market response to the demand for property rights. Indeed, legal entitlements can only be expected to become effective against a background of self-enforcing market mechanisms.

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