Unearthing T. Rex: The Law and Economics of Paleontological Finds
AbstractThis paper assesses the economic characteristics of the balance that federal law aims to achieve between the interests of paleontologists and amateur and commercial collectors of fossils on US federal lands. The objective function is taken to be the maximization of the social value of these resources. Allowing ‘open access’ to amateurs and commercial collectors would maximize search activity. However, as a fossil’s scientific value is not necessarily their priority, they may under-invest in the recovery of such information. We trace how US federal law has tried to strike a balance between search activity and scientific recovery. We also comment favorably on the developing trend of promoting professional (paleontologist)-amateur partnerships in both search and recovery.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2014-07.
Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2014
Date of revision:
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More information through EDIRC
Fossils; scientific value; search and recovery; paleontology;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
- H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
- I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
- K11 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Property Law
- O32 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2014-04-11 (All new papers)
- NEP-GER-2014-04-11 (German Papers)
- NEP-LAW-2014-04-11 (Law & Economics)
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.:
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"Murky Waters: The Law and Economics of Salvaging Historic Shipwrecks,"
2004-40, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
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- Lueck, Dean, 1995. "The Rule of First Possession and the Design of the Law," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 393-436, October.
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