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Loggers versus Campers: Compensation for the Taking of Property Rights

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  • Ron Giammarino

Abstract

Governments often have the power to take property rights from private citizens but their responsibility to pay compensation is typically not well specified. In this article we examine how the compensation rule adopted by a country affects both private investment decisions and takings decisions. We build on a widely accepted argument that any lump sum compensation, including zero, is the socially optimal compensation scheme. The lump sum compensation result hinges critically on the assumptions that the government maximizes social welfare and that the level of private investment does not affect the alternative use of the property rights. We find that when either of these assumptions are relaxed, the optimal compensation scheme will generally depend upon market values. The model presented here provides strong support for market value compensation for the taking of property rights in modern societies. Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Ron Giammarino, 2005. "Loggers versus Campers: Compensation for the Taking of Property Rights," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 136-152, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:21:y:2005:i:1:p:136-152
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jleo/ewi006
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas J. Miceli & Kathleen Segerson, 2011. "Regulatory Takings," Working papers 2011-16, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    2. Winfree, Jason A. & McCluskey, Jill J., 2007. "Takings of development rights with asymmetric information and an endogenous probability of an externality," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 320-333, November.
    3. Hans-Bernd Schäfer & Ram Singh, 2017. "Takings of Land by Self-interested Governments Economic Analysis of Eminent Domain," Working papers 281, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    4. Deininger, Klaus & Jin, Songqing, 2009. "Securing property rights in transition: Lessons from implementation of China's rural land contracting law," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 22-38, May.
    5. Paul Klumpes, 2013. "Audit fee pricing and internationally-credible GAAP: a property rights analysis," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 21-39, February.

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