IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/upf/upfgen/1547.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Property as sequential exchange: The forgotten limits of private contract

Author

Abstract

The contractual, single-exchange framework in Coase (1960) contains the implicit assumption that exchange in property rights does not affect future transaction (i.e., trading) costs. This is pertinent for analyzing use externalities but limits our understanding of property institutions: a central problem of property markets lies in the interaction among multiple transactions, which causes exchange-related and non-contractible externalities. By retaining a single-exchange simplification, the economic analysis of property has encouraged views that: (1) overemphasize the initial allocation of property rights, while some form of recurrent allocation is often needed; (2) pay scant attention to legal rights, although these determine enforceability and, therefore, economic value; and (3) overestimate the power of unregulated private ordering, despite its inability to protect third parties. These three biases have been misleading policy in many areas, including land titling and business firm formalization.

Suggested Citation

  • Benito Arruñada, 2017. "Property as sequential exchange: The forgotten limits of private contract," Economics Working Papers 1547, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1547
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://econ-papers.upf.edu/papers/1547.pdf
    File Function: Whole Paper
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-1158, December.
    2. Paul R. Milgrom & Douglass C. North & Barry R. Weingast, 1990. "The Role Of Institutions In The Revival Of Trade: The Law Merchant, Private Judges, And The Champagne Fairs," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(1), pages 1-23, March.
    3. Hodgson, Geoffrey M., 2015. "Much of the ‘economics of property rights’ devalues property and legal rights," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(04), pages 683-709, December.
    4. Greif, Avner, 1989. "Reputation and Coalitions in Medieval Trade: Evidence on the Maghribi Traders," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 857-882, December.
    5. Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci & Carmine Guerriero & Zhenxing Huang, 2016. "The Property-Contract Balance," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 172(1), pages 40-64, March.
    6. Sgard, Jérôme, 2015. "Global economic governance during the middle ages: The jurisdiction of the champagne fairs," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 174-184.
    7. Umbeck, John, 1977. "A Theory of Contract Choice and the California Gold Rush," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(2), pages 421-437, October.
    8. Nicole Kuijpers & Joëlle Noailly & Ben Vollaard, 2005. "Liberalisation of the Dutch notary profession; reviewing its scope and impact," CPB Document 93, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    9. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    10. Suresh de Mel & David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2013. "The Demand for, and Consequences of, Formalization among Informal Firms in Sri Lanka," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 122-150, April.
    11. repec:eee:labeco:v:45:y:2017:i:c:p:143-157 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288817.
    13. Barzel,Yoram, 1997. "Economic Analysis of Property Rights," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521597135.
    14. Kaplan, David S. & Piedra, Eduardo & Seira, Enrique, 2011. "Entry regulation and business start-ups: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1501-1515.
    15. Hansmann, Henry & Kraakman, Reinier, 2002. "Property, Contract, and Verification: The Numerus Clausus Problem and the Divisibility of Rights," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(2), pages 373-420, June.
    16. Suresh de Mel & David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2009. "Returns to Capital in Microenterprises: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 423-423.
    17. Murtazashvili, Ilia & Murtazashvili, Jennifer, 2016. "The origins of private property rights: states or customary organizations?," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(01), pages 105-128, March.
    18. Thomas W. Merrill & Henry E. Smith, 2011. "Making Coasean Property More Coasean," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(S4), pages 77-104.
    19. Kenneth Ayotte & Patrick Bolton, 2011. "Optimal Property Rights in Financial Contracting," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(10), pages 3401-3433.
    20. Greif, Avner, 1993. "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: the Maghribi Traders' Coalition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 525-548, June.
    21. Gary D. Libecap & Dean Lueck, 2011. "The Demarcation of Land and the Role of Coordinating Property Institutions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(3), pages 426-467.
    22. Barzel, Yoram, 1982. "Measurement Cost and the Organization of Markets," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(1), pages 27-48, April.
    23. Scott E. Masten & Jens Prüfer, 2014. "On the Evolution of Collective Enforcement Institutions: Communities and Courts," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 359-400.
    24. Galiani, Sebastian & Meléndez, Marcela & Ahumada, Camila Navajas, 2017. "On the effect of the costs of operating formally: New experimental evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 143-157.
    25. repec:hal:journl:tel-01178105 is not listed on IDEAS
    26. Allen, Douglas W., 2015. "On Hodgson on property rights," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(04), pages 711-717, December.
    27. Jérôme Sgard, 2015. "Global economic governance during the middle ages: The jurisdiction of the champagne fairs," Post-Print hal-01178105, HAL.
    28. repec:cup:apsrev:v:87:y:1993:i:03:p:567-576_10 is not listed on IDEAS
    29. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    property rights; externalities; enforcement; transaction costs; public ordering; private ordering; impersonal exchange; organized markets; blockchain.;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • 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
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • 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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1547. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://www.econ.upf.edu/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.