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The Night-Watchman State’s Last Shift

HONG KONG – Too often, debate about the relationship between the state and the market casts them as opposing forces locked in a zero-sum struggle. But this simplistic approach quickly turns constructive discussion into a casualty of the ideological battle between advocates of state and market capitalism.

A more useful framework would view the state and the market as two sides of the same coin, bound together by the property-rights infrastructure (PRI). The state interacts with the market – the realm of private, voluntary exchange of property rights – in three main ways.