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Property enforcement as organized consent

This article develops and tests a theory of the institutions that make property rights viable, ensuring their enforcement, mobilizing the collateral value of assets and promoting growth. In contrast to contractual rights, property rights are enforced in rem, being affected only with the consent of the right holder. This ensures enforcement but is costly when multiple, potentially colliding rights are held in the same asset. Different institutions reduce the cost of gathering consents to overcome this trade-off of enforcement benefits for consent costs: recording of deeds with title insurance, registration of rights and even a regimen of purely private transactions. All three provide functionally similar services, but their relative performance varies with the number of transactions, the risk of political opportunism and regulatory consistency. The analysis also shows the rationality of allowing competition in the preparation and support of private contracts while requiring territorial monopoly in recording and registration activities, this to ensure independence and protect third parties.

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File URL: https://econ-papers.upf.edu/papers/564.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 564.

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Date of creation: Apr 2001
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:564
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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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.
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  11. Anderson, Terry L & Lueck, Dean, 1992. "Land Tenure and Agricultural Productivity on Indian Reservations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 427-54, October.
  12. Frank Place & Peter Hazell, 1993. "Productivity Effects of Indigenous Land Tenure Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 75(1), pages 10-19.
  13. Buchanan, James M & Yoon, Yong J, 2000. "Symmetric Tragedies: Commons and Anticommons," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(1), pages 1-13, April.
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  15. Besley, Timothy, 1995. "Property Rights and Investment Incentives: Theory and Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 903-37, October.
  16. Kraakman, Reiner H, 1986. "Gatekeepers: The Anatomy of a Third-Party Enforcement Strategy," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(1), pages 53-104, Spring.
  17. Henry Hansmann & Marina Santilli, 2001. "Royalties for Artists versus Royalties for Authors and Composers," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 25(4), pages 259-281, November.
  18. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, March.
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