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.
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- Paul Hallwood & Thomas J. Miceli, 2004.
"Murky Waters: The Law and Economics of Salvaging Historic Shipwrecks,"
2004-40, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
- Paul Hallwood & Thomas J. Miceli, 2006. "Murky Waters: The Law and Economics of Salvaging Historic Shipwrecks," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 285-302, 06.
- 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.
- Mortensen, Dale T, 1982. "Property Rights and Efficiency in Mating, Racing, and Related Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 968-79, December.
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