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Economic Analysis of Property Law

  • Steven Shavell

This part deals with the basic elements of property law. I begin in chapter 7 by examining the fundamental question of what justifies the social institution of property, that is, the rationale for the rights that constitute what we commonly call ownership. I also discuss examples of the emergence of property rights. Then I consider a number of important issues about property rights. In chapter 8, I inquire about the division of property rights (property rights may be divided contemporaneously, over time, and according to contingency). In chapter 9, I study a variety of issues about the acquisition and transfer of property, including the discovery of unowned or lost property, registration systems for transfer of property, and the transfer of property at death. In chapter 10, I investigate externalities' and property -- problems concerning cooperation and conflict in the use of property, together with the resolution of such problems through bargaining and legal rules. In chapter 11, I discuss public property; here I address the question of why the state should own property, and also the manner of state acquisition of property through purchase or by the exercise of powers of eminent domain. Finally, in chapter 12, I analyze the special topic of intellectual property.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9695.

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Date of creation: May 2003
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9695
Note: LE
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  1. Lee J. Alston & Gary D. Libecap & Robert Schneider, 1996. "The Determinants and Impact of Property Rights: Land Titles on the Brazilian Frontier," NBER Working Papers 5405, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-77, June.
  3. Joseph G. Altonji & Fumio Hayashi & Laurence Kotlikoff, 1995. "Parental Altruism and Inter Vivos Transfers: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5378, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Anderson, Terry L & Hill, Peter J, 1990. "The Race for Property Rights," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 177-97, April.
  5. Arlen, Jennifer & Spitzer, Matthew & Talley, Eric, 2002. "Endowment Effects within Corporate Agency Relationships," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 1-37, January.
  6. Abel, Andrew B, 1985. "Precautionary Saving and Accidental Bequests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 777-91, September.
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