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The French Revolution, Property Rights, and the Coase Theorem with Noel Johnson

The French Revolution, Property Rights, and the Coase Theorem with Noel Johnson

My guest for this episode is Noel Johnson of George Mason University, and if that name sounds familiar, it's because he was the coauthor on the paper I discussed with Mark Koyama last month. Noel recently released a working paper titled "The Effects of Land Redistribution: Evidence from the French Revolution." It is coauthored with Theresa Finley and Raphael Franck. The paper examines the consequences of the land auctions held by the Revolutionary government in France. The abstract reads as follows: 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.

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