Murky Waters: The Law and Economics of Salvaging Historic Shipwrecks
AbstractThe salvage of historic shipwrecks involves a debate between salvors, who wish to maximize profit, and archeologists, who wish to preserve historical value. Traditionally, salvage of shipwrecks has been governed by admiralty law, but the Abandoned Shipwreck Act of 1987 transferred title of historically important wrecks in U.S. waters to the state in whose waters the wreck is found, thereby abrogating admiralty law. This paper examines incentives to locate and salvage historic wrecks under traditional admiralty law and proposes an efficient reward scheme. It then re-considers current U.S. and international law in light of the results.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2004-40.
Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Note: We acknowledge the helpful comments of Dr. Toni Carrell, Robert Neyland, and an anonymous referee.
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More information through EDIRC
Historic shipwrecks; Law of salvage; Admiralty law; Archeological value.;
Other versions of this item:
- Paul Hallwood & Thomas J. Miceli, 2006. "Murky Waters: The Law and Economics of Salvaging Historic Shipwrecks," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 285-302, 06.
- K1 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law
- K33 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - International Law
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-01-02 (All new papers)
- NEP-LAW-2005-01-02 (Law & Economics)
- NEP-REG-2005-01-02 (Regulation)
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