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The Not So Wild, Wild West: Property Rights on the Frontier (Stanford Economics & Finance) Hardcover – May 4, 2004
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"[T]heoretically rich and factually entertaining."Law and Politics Book Review
"I give the book high marks for shedding new light on old paradigms and for accumulating solid evidence for an economic interpretation of western history."Utah HIstorical Quarterly
"From wagon trains to wildlife and from mining rights to irrigation companies Not So again and again challenges conventional wisdom and challenges us all with its rigorous application of freely transferable property rights."Economic Affairs
"This new book is more accessible to the historian and interesting to the general reader. It is essential reading for anyone with an interest in western history, political science, law, or economics."Journal of American History
"The Not So Wild, Wild West is a beautifully written and printed volume that teaches us much about the American West, but also about human nature and the economic way of thinking. Congratulations to Terry Anderson and P.J. Hill for an outstanding book."Regulation
From the Inside Flap
The authors emphasize that ownership of resources evolves as those resources become more valuable or as establishing property rights becomes less costly. Rules evolving at the local level will be more effective because local people have a greater stake in the outcome. This theory is brought to life in the colorful history of Indians, fur trappers, buffalo hunters, cattle drovers, homesteaders, and miners. The book concludes with a chapter that takes lessons from the American frontier and applies them to our modern “frontiers”—the environment, developing countries, and space exploration.
Top Customer Reviews
In the first chapter, Anderson and Hill discuss various systems of property rights on the Wild West: tribal institutions, fur traders, miners in the Sierra Nevada, water rights of prior appropriation, and Cattlemen's associations.
The second chapter provides a general review of the concept of property rights and how they are designed. Anderson and Hill recognize from the start that many people use systems of property rights to benefit themselves at the expense of others. This "rent-seeking" often involves messing with the market, and harms society as a whole. In short, Anderson and Hill recognize (at least in principle) that property rights may not always be efficient in economic terms. They are fair minded, at least in principle, allowing that government, local communities, and/or entrepreneurs might each provide solutions to these problems in both theory and practice.
The next two chapters make this abstract argument concrete by looking at property rights in Indian country. Obviously, most Indian lands were taken by force or by the threat of force, an excellent example of rent-seeking by whites with tragic effects for Natives.
After this, the authors turn to a series of other property rights issues in the West, from fur traders and wagon trains to mining camps and Mormon irrigation.Read more ›
I especially enjoyed learning about the Indian Wars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
two free market fundamentalists got together to force their economic ideology onto the history of the US West. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Coyote Lightning
A fascinating book that debunks many claims and myths commonly propagated via the government agency controlled educational system.Published 20 months ago by D. Cole
The Not So Wild, Wild West
Dr. Thomas E. Woods and Dr. P.J. Read more
All was ok, quick and i thing that every thing was ok. Everyone could buy something and it will be ok.Published on May 16, 2013 by Andrzej
I am not a big fan of fiction. Although this book is not fiction- the narrative around what it is trying to accomplish gives you a bit of a fictional feel. Read morePublished on March 12, 2013 by Island Lawyer