a1 Professor of Economics and Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8S 4M4.
Like many land-abundant, labor-scarce economies, Thailand had a well-developed system of property rights in man. Over the nineteenth century corvée and slavery were abolished and replaced by military conscription, a head tax, and more precise property rights in land. Concomitant trends included extensive commercialization, the growth of international trade, imperialist threats to Thai sovereignty, and the growth of a centralized unitary state. Both domestic and international political motives influenced monarchs in the abolition of human-property rights. Economic change greatly facilitated these institutional changes.