Bundle-of-Sticks Notions in Legal and Economic Scholarship
AbstractThe phrase "bundle of rights" does not serve as an accurate conceptual definition of property. Nor has that phrase provided a helpful metaphor as used in Ronald Coase's article "The Problem of Social Cost" (1960) and subsequent legal and economic scholarship. Coase's usage portrays property rights as a collection of individualized permissions to use an asset, when in sound conceptual usage "property" signifies a domain of authority to decide how to use the asset. The "bundle" metaphor may be understood to state that an owner has a right to deploy his property in any specific manner fairly implied by his general rights of ownership. Although this metaphorical usage is helpful, it remains parasitic on a sound conceptual definition of property. Property is best conceived of as a right securing a normative interest in determining exclusively the use of an asset external to the person of the owner.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Econ Journal Watch in its journal Econ Journal Watch.
Volume (Year): 8 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Property; bundle of rights; exclusion; exclusivity; right to exclude; legal realism; law and economics; Wesley Hohfeld; Richard Posner; Harold Demsetz; Armen Alchian; Thomas Merrill; Henry Smith; private law theory; conceptual philosophy;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- A1 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics
- K00 - Law and Economics - - General - - - General (including Data Sources and Description)
- K1 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Adam Mossoff, 2011. "The False Promise of the Right to Exclude," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 8(3), pages 255-264, September.
- Jain, Satish (ed.), 2010. "Law and Economics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198067733.
- Daniel B. Klein & John Robinson, 2011. "Property: A Bundle of Rights? Prologue to the Property Symposium," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 8(3), pages 193-204, September.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jason Briggeman) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Jason Briggeman to update the entry or send us the correct address.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.