Mikael Adolphson & J. Mark Ramseyer, The Competitive Enforcement of Property Rights in Medieval Japan: The Role of Temples and Monasteries, 71 J. Econ. Behav. & Org. 660 (2009).
Medieval Japanese governments only haphazardly secured property rights.
To obtain their security, many landholders instead turned to temples (and monasteries). Temples paid no taxes and controlled enough resources to adjudicate and enforce resource claims. Landholders “commended” their rights in land to them and paid them a share of the harvest. The temples then exempted them from tax, adjudicated disputes, and protected them from outsiders. Effectively, the temples competed in a market for basic governmental services. By competing against the government itself, they helped forestall a predatory monopolistic state. And by helping secure property rights, they promoted investment and growth.
Green Journal. Publishers pdf only for additional fee. Made it dark. Only able to access official pdf through Harvard access. The secondary source would be okay to have for archiving because it is a version. Also, the bibliography shows Ramseyer listed first, but the article lists Mikael Adolphson first. I switched the order to reflect the article.