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Ancient Greek History and Contemporary Social Science$
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Mirko Canevaro, Andrew Erskine, Benjamin Gray, and Josiah Ober

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474421775

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474421775.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Property Security and its Limits in Classical Greece

Property Security and its Limits in Classical Greece

(p.315) 11 Property Security and its Limits in Classical Greece
Ancient Greek History and Contemporary Social Science

Emily Mackil

Edinburgh University Press

Scholars working in the New Institutional Economics take it as axiomatic that economic growth cannot happen without secure property rights. In his magisterial survey of the economy of the Greek cities, Alain Bresson has followed suit in asserting that security of property was a precondition for the development of market exchange, fuelling the growth that the Greek world so evidently experienced over the course of the Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic periods. Yet careful consideration suggests that property in ancient Greece was comparatively insecure. This chapter explores the ways in which individuals could and did lose their property and asks how we are to understand the phenomenon of widespread economic growth in this light.

Keywords:   New Institutional Economics, property rights, economic growth

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