The Social Efficiency of Private Decisions to Enforce Property Rights
Costs must be incurred if an owner is to enforce private property rights effectively. The authors show that, in a perfectly competitive economy, private decisions to enforce rights may result in either more or less enforcement than is socially efficient. Cases of multiple stable equilibria occur and an equilibrium may be locally, but not globally, efficient. Resources may not be employed in their socially most valuable uses and enforcement may be accompanied by inefficient investment in resource productivity. Copyright 1992 by University of Chicago Press.
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