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Transaction Costs and the Value of Mining Claims

  • David Gerard

This paper examines the relationship between transaction costs and the value of full title to mining claims staked under the 1872 Mining Law. Miners can either acquire full title to their claims (known as a mineral patent) or mine unpatented claims. The costs of enforcing claim rights is lower when the claimant holds full title, but the patenting process is costly. The decline in claim disputes after the turn of the century reduced the value of full title, and the demand for patents decreased. An analysis of data from 12 western states for the period 1882± 1932 is consistent with this argument.

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File URL: http://le.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/77/3/371
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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Land Economics.

Volume (Year): 77 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 371-384

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:77:y:2001:i:3:p:371-384
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://le.uwpress.org/

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  1. Feder, Gershon & Feeny, David, 1991. "Land Tenure and Property Rights: Theory and Implications for Development Policy," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 5(1), pages 135-53, January.
  2. Jerry A. Hausman & Bronwyn H. Hall & Zvi Griliches, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," NBER Technical Working Papers 0017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Besley, Timothy, 1995. "Property Rights and Investment Incentives: Theory and Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 903-37, October.
  4. Alston, Lee J & Libecap, Gary D & Schneider, Robert, 1996. "The Determinants and Impact of Property Rights: Land Titles on the Brazilian Frontier," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 25-61, April.
  5. 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.
  6. Anderson, Terry L & Hill, Peter J, 1975. "The Evolution of Property Rights: A Study of the American West," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 163-79, April.
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