Unearthing T. Rex: The Law and Economics of Paleontological Finds
This paper assesses the economic characteristics of the balance that federal law aims to achieve between the interests of paleontologists and amateur and commercial collectors of fossils on US federal lands. The objective function is taken to be the maximization of the social value of these resources. Allowing ‘open access’ to amateurs and commercial collectors would maximize search activity. However, as a fossil’s scientific value is not necessarily their priority, they may under-invest in the recovery of such information. We trace how US federal law has tried to strike a balance between search activity and scientific recovery. We also comment favorably on the developing trend of promoting professional (paleontologist)-amateur partnerships in both search and recovery.
|Date of creation:||Apr 2014|
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