Property rights are not supposed to exist in Palestinian refugee camps. At least the existing scholarly record does not predict their presence. After all, why would a marginalized community living in uncertain political economic conditions go to all the trouble and effort of crafting institutions that lay claim to assets in a refugee camp? Yet a routine interview with a Palestinian refugee led to the discovery of formal legal titles inside refugee camps strewn across Lebanon and Jordan. The discovery triggered a new understanding of the potential for institutional innovation and evolution in transitional political landscapes, places that lack a stable sovereign state with the legal jurisdiction to define and enforce institutions....
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