Armen Alchian, Ronald Coase, and Harold Demsetz founded the modern property rights school of economics. They sought not only to outline the importance of private property rights to the effective functioning of an economy but also to identify the circumstances that lead to the assignment and formation of property rights.
According to Alchian, a system of property rights, denote a method of assigning to particular individuals the “authority” to use property owned by such individuals, he further opined that “A property right for me means some protection against other people’s choosing against my will one of the uses of resources said to be mine”
Coase opined that protection of property become paramount only when the benefit to protect such rights are more significant than the costs. As a result, it is the view of this writer that due to no gains on hindsight, a lot of property right are left unprotected creating a culture of unprotected property interest within the society in an expectation that the state would protect such unprotected interest which often does nothing for similar reasons. It is a mistake to assume that the task of assigning, defining, and protecting property rights is the exclusive job of the state.
Some of the reasons why it is counterproductive to entrust property protection to the state emanate from the fact that property rights developed from custom and tradition long before we had nations, this means at some point in our history, the modern society as we now have it was alien to property ownership.
This writer is of the view that if every member of society acts as a “watch-dog” protecting the right to own and use property freely, we would have a more robust striving economy. As opposed to expecting the state to protect property right.