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The concept of "property rights" plays a prominent role in economic theory. Economists have been studying how property rights emerged as a system of allocation, replacing regimes of open access and lack of legal order. Property rights are regularly viewed by economists as the primary policy tool to control the incentives to invest in new assets (e.g., in information) and to maintain existing assets (e.g., fisheries) when contracts are incomplete. Property rights are the endowments that individuals exchange in a market economy, the equity that investors trade in financial markets. Property rights are a basic building block in economics.