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From a theoretical perspective, there are many reasons why robust land markets might fail to develop in any given economy. Several of these are directly related to law: property rights might not be secure enough to facilitate effective market exchange; the law might ban certain forms of transactions outright, or at least significantly encumber them; and so on. But even if these explanations are fully coherent and empirically verifiable, a committed social scientist would still likely want to go deeper: how did these anti-market legal institutions develop in the first place? Here, too, there are a number of possibilities.

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