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The titling role of possession

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Abstract

This chapter proposes two hypotheses on the publicity requirement and the limitations of possession to provide information for legal titling. It then tests these hypotheses by examining how legal systems deal with possession in movable and immovable property, and comparing actual and documentary possession. It concludes that exercise of possession is effective as a titling mechanism when it is observed by independent parties, thus providing publicity and verifiability of titling-relevant elements. However, given that possession is only effective to inform about a single in rem right, direct and automatic reliance on possession for titling requires that all other rights be diluted to in personam status or be burdened by the possessory in rem right. In any case, public knowledge of possession, either in its delivery and/or its exercise, is essential for possession to play a public titling function. Similarly, documentary possession is only effective as a public titling mechanism in the absence of multiple rights in rem.

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  • Benito Arruñada, 2014. "The titling role of possession," Economics Working Papers 1429, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1429
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Benito ArruÒada, 2003. "Property Enforcement as Organized Consent," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 401-444, October.
    2. Barak Medina, 2003. "Augmenting the Value of Ownership by Protecting It Only Partially: The "Market-Overt" Rule Revisited," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 343-372, October.
    3. Anderson, Terry L & Hill, Peter J, 2002. "Cowboys and Contracts," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(2), pages 489-514, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    property rights; enforcement; transaction costs; registries.;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • K11 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Property Law
    • K12 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Contract Law
    • L85 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Real Estate Services
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies

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