In recent years, enhancing the security and formality of property rights has become something of an idée fixe among economic development policy experts. The legal orthodoxy which has accompanied neo-liberal economic prescriptions routinely affirms that “strong and clear” property rights are a prerequisite to a functioning market economy and that their provision will promote efficiency and growth.1 As a result, strengthening and clarifying property rights has become a standard part of the recipe offered by outside experts for developing countries from Mexico to Mali, Chile to China. There is no question that all property law regimes enshrine choices of deep significance for economic development. The image of “strong and clear” property rights, however, obscures more than it clarifies about the links between those choices and the direction of a society‟s economic development. This recipe is rooted in historical claims about the legal regimes of developed societies and analytic claims about the nature of property entitlements which are not compelling.