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A Question of Title: Property Rights and Asset Values

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  • Thomas J. Miceli

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Henry J. Munneke

    (University of Georgia)

  • C. F. Sirmans

    (Florida State University)

  • Geoffrey K. Turnbull

    (Georgia State University)

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of land title systems on property values. The predominant system in the U.S., the recording system, awards title to claimants over current possessors, whereas the Torrens registration system awards title to the current owner. In theory, the registration system maximizes property value, all else equal, but in practice, the systems differ depending on the risk of a claim and administrative costs. A natural experiment in Cook County, Illinois, where both systems have existed since 1897, allows a test of the theory. The results, based on commercial and industrial properties, reveal that parcels tend to self-select into the two systems based on the predictions of the theory.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2008-32.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2008-32

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Keywords: Land title system; property rights; recording system; Torrens system;

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  1. Thomas J Miceli & C. F Sirmans & Geoffrey K Turnbull, 2003. "Land Ownership Risk and Urban Development," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 73-94.
  2. Matthew Baker & Thomas Miceli & C. F. Sirmans & Geoffrey K. Turnbull, 2001. "Property Rights by Squatting: Land Ownership Risk and Adverse Possession Statutes," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 77(3), pages 360-370.
  3. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Propensity Score Matching Methods for Non-experimental Causal Studies," NBER Working Papers 6829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Miceli, Thomas J, et al, 2002. "Title Systems and Land Values," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 565-82, October.
  5. Lee, Lung-fei & Maddala, G S & Trost, R P, 1980. "Asymptotic Covariance Matrices of Two-Stage Probit and Two-Stage Tobit Methods for Simultaneous Equations Models with Selectivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(2), pages 491-503, March.
  6. Daniel P. McMillen & John F. McDonald, 1989. "Selectivity Bias in Urban Land Value Functions," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 65(4), pages 341-351.
  7. Miceli, Thomas J & Sirmans, C F, 1995. "The Economics of Land Transfer and Title Insurance," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 81-88, January.
  8. Colwell, Peter F. & Munneke, Henry J., 1997. "The Structure of Urban Land Prices," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 321-336, May.
  9. Miceli, Thomas J. & Sirmans, C. F. & Turnbull, Geoffrey K., 2000. "The Dynamic Effects of Land Title Systems," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 370-389, May.
  10. Brownstone, David & De Vany, Arthur, 1991. "Zoning, Returns to Scale, and the Value of Undeveloped Land," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(4), pages 699-704, November.
  11. Hans R. Isakson & Mark D. Ecker, 2001. "An Analysis of the Influence of Location in the Market for Undeveloped Urban Fringe Land," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 77(1), pages 30-41.
  12. Munneke, Henry J., 1996. "Redevelopment Decisions for Commercial and Industrial Properties," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 229-253, March.
  13. Thomas Miceli & C.F. Sirmans & Geoffrey Turnbull, 1998. "Title Assurance and Incentives for Efficient Land Use," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 305-323, November.
  14. Baker, Matthew, et al, 2002. "Optimal Title Search," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 139-58, January.
  15. McMillen, Daniel P. & McDonald, John F., 1991. "Urban land value functions with endogenous zoning," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 14-27, January.
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