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Assets, Attributes and Ownership

  • Kirsten Foss
  • Nicolai Foss

The notion of full asset ownership is important in economics, for example, in recent work on the boundaries of the firm. Much of this work has been taken up with the issue why it matters who owns an asset. However, recognizing that assets have multiple attributes, and that these may be subject to capture in a world of positive measurement and enforcement costs, implies that the notion of full asset ownership is problematic. New property rights theorists sidestep these issues by implicitly assuming that residual rights of control are perfectly enforced (i.e. full asset ownership obtains). We discuss the notion of property rights and ownership in a setting characterized by positive costs of enforcement, and suggest that in such a setting, the new property rights model is a part of a more overarching perspective, which also includes older contributions to property rights economics.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal International Journal of the Economics of Business.

Volume (Year): 8 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 19-37

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Handle: RePEc:taf:ijecbs:v:8:y:2001:i:1:p:19-37
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