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Loggers vs. campers: compensation for the taking of property rights

Author

Listed:
  • Ronald Giammarino
  • Ed Nosal

Abstract

Governments often have the power to take property rights from private citizens but their responsibility to pay compensation is typically not well specified. In this paper we examine how the compensation rule adopted by a country affects both private investment decisions and takings decisions. We build on a widely accepted argument that any lump sum compensation, including zero, is the socially optimal compensation scheme. The lump sum compensation result hinges critically on the assumptions that the government maximizes social welfare and that the level of private investment does not affect the alternative use of the property rights. We find that when either of these assumptions is relaxed, the optimal compensation scheme will generally depend upon market values.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald Giammarino & Ed Nosal, 2004. "Loggers vs. campers: compensation for the taking of property rights," Working Paper 0406, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:0406
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nosal, Ed, 2001. "The taking of land: market value compensation should be paid," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 431-443, December.
    2. Hermalin, Benjamin E, 1995. "An Economic Analysis of Takings," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 64-86, April.
    3. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
    4. De Alessi, Louis, 1969. "Implications of Property Rights for Government Investment Choices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 13-24, March.
    5. Baxter, William F & Altree, Lillian R, 1972. "Legal Aspects of Airport Noise," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 1-113, April.
    6. Lawrence Blume & Daniel L. Rubinfeld & Perry Shapiro, 1984. "The Taking of Land: When Should Compensation Be Paid?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(1), pages 71-92.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas J. Miceli & Kathleen Segerson, 2011. "Regulatory Takings," Working papers 2011-16, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    2. Winfree, Jason A. & McCluskey, Jill J., 2007. "Takings of development rights with asymmetric information and an endogenous probability of an externality," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 320-333, November.
    3. 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.

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    Keywords

    Right of property ; Eminent domain;

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