The origins of private property and wealth in post‐communist society

Tomas J.F. Riha (University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Publication date: 1 April 1996


Throughout history, social philosophers have justified titles of possession by the right of occupation, labour, and social contract, while the economic justification rests on efficiency grounds. Subscribing to the extremely contestable argument that there is a connection between private property rights and the performance and prosperity of capitalism, de‐socialization of ownership was to become the backbone for market oriented reforms in post‐communist society. The absence of clearly defined property rights, their capricious enforcement, widespread cronyism and criminal activity, in combination with a lack of resolution to terminate the quasi‐property rights of the former ruling elite, and imperfect markets have created a situation where, in the final analysis, the original foundation of most rights to property and wealth would hardly survive the test of justice and be validated in any socially responsible society. Moral precepts aside, given these circumstances, it would be hard for an economist to argue that the present process of re‐allocation of rights could be explained on efficiency grounds.



Riha, T. (1996), "The origins of private property and wealth in post‐communist society", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 23 No. 4/5/6, pp. 245-268.

Download as .RIS




Copyright © 1996, MCB UP Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.