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The Economic Theory of Eminent Domain


  • Miceli,Thomas J.


Surveys the contributions that economic theory has made to the often contentious debate over the government's use of its power of eminent domain, as prescribed by the Fifth Amendment. It addresses such questions as: when should the government be allowed to take private property without the owner's consent? Does it depend on how the land will be used? Also, what amount of compensation is the landowner entitled to receive (if any)? The recent case of Kelo v. New London (2005) revitalized the debate, but it was only the latest skirmish in the ongoing struggle between advocates of strong governmental powers to acquire private property in the public interest and private property rights advocates. Written for a general audience, the book advances a coherent theory that views eminent domain within the context of the government's proper role in an economic system whose primary objective is to achieve efficient land use.

Suggested Citation

  • Miceli,Thomas J., 2011. "The Economic Theory of Eminent Domain," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521182973, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:cbooks:9780521182973

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Coase, R H, 1976. "Adam Smith's Views of Man," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(3), pages 529-546, October.
    2. Conybeare, John A C & Murdoch, James C & Sandler, Todd, 1994. "Alternative Collective-Goods Models of Military Alliances: Theory and Empirics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(4), pages 525-542, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Laura Rae Dove, 2016. "Introducing the Moral Foundations of Capitalism in Undergraduate Business Law and Ethics Courses Using Kelo v. City of New London," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 31(Summer 20), pages 87-95.
    2. Thomas J. Miceli & Kathleen Segerson, 2014. "Takings," Working papers 2014-17, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.

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