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The institution of property is as old as mankind, and property rights are today deemed vital to a prosperous economic system. Much has been written in the last decade on the economics of the legal institutions protecting such rights. This book provides an introduction to the subject. Terry Anderson and Fred McChesney have gathered 12 leading thinkers to explore how property rights arise, and how they bolster economic development. As the subtitle indicates, the book examines as well how controversies over valuable property rights are resolved: by agreement, by violence, or by law.;The essays begin by surveying the approaches to property taken by early political economists and move to colourful applications of property rights theory concerning the Wild West, the Amazon, endangered species, and the broadcast spectrum. These examples illustrate the process of defining and defending property rights, and demonstrate what difference property rights make. The book then considers a number of topics raised by private property rights, analytically complex topics concerning pollution externalities, government taking of property, and land use management policies such as zoning. Overall, the boo