Against mainstream considerations, the history of modern economic development does not identify itself with the history of technological progress, but with the history of “rights”, conceived as an (economical and juridical) “technology” which structures human interracton within society. This evolution is inseparable from the genesis of capitalism and of the modern sistem of property rights. Exchange opportunities, in the sense of mutual benefits extracted by the European communities from the exchange of their specific productions, have always existed. However, the prerequisite for unleashing these economical opportunities was to extend the degree of economic freedom against the arbitrary exercise of authority. But the property rights are only a certain part of the institutional factor taken into consideration in this study. The way in which property rights “work”, de facto, in real life, is circumscribed to many other institutional variables, from the way that political power is structured within society to the ideologies and the cultural values that shape the conception and the functioning of economic policies.