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Title Systems and Land Values

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  • Miceli, Thomas J, et al

Abstract

The Torrens (or registration) and the recording title systems apply different principles to resolve conflicting claims to land title. This paper develops a theoretical model of how expected title risk and transactions costs affect land value across the two systems and ultimately concludes that the Torrens system leads to higher property values, ceteris paribus. It also suggests that empirical studies of the title system--land value nexus need to control for self-selection effects in the data. We use the simultaneous existence of two alternative title systems in Cook County, Illinois, as a natural experiment for comparing land values under each system. The estimates indicate that the Torrens system increases land value relative to the recording system when controlling for self-selection effects. Copyright 2002 by the University of Chicago.

Suggested Citation

  • Miceli, Thomas J, et al, 2002. "Title Systems and Land Values," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 565-582, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:45:y:2002:i:2:p:565-82
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/340085
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Baker, Matthew, et al, 2002. "Optimal Title Search," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 139-158, January.
    2. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Bessen James, 2009. "Evaluating the Economic Performance of Property Systems," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(3), pages 1037-1061, December.
    2. Thomas Miceli & C. Sirmans, 2005. "Time-Limited Property Rights and Investment Incentives," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 31(4), pages 405-412, December.
    3. Arrunada, Benito & Garoupa, Nuno, 2005. "The Choice of Titling System in Land," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(2), pages 709-727, October.
    4. Anthony Pennington-Cross, 2006. "The Value of Foreclosed Property," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 28(2), pages 193-214.
    5. Miceli, Thomas J. & Munneke, Henry J. & Sirmans, C.F. & Turnbull, Geoffrey K., 2011. "A question of title: Property rights and asset values," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 499-507.
    6. 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.
    7. Benito ArruÒada, 2003. "Property Enforcement as Organized Consent," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 401-444, October.
    8. Ignacio Navarro & Geoffrey Turnbull, 2014. "Property Rights and Urban Development: Initial Title Quality Matters Even When it No Longer Matters," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 49(1), pages 1-22, July.

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