Property Rights: Cooperation, Conflict, and Law

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Terry Lee Anderson, Fred S. McChesney
Princeton University Press, 2003 - Law - 398 pages
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The institution of property is as old as mankind, and property rights are today deemed vital to a prosperous economic system. Much has been written in the last decade on the economics of the legal institutions protecting such rights. This unprecedented book provides a magnificent introduction to the subject. Terry Anderson and Fred McChesney have gathered twelve leading thinkers to explore how property rights arise, and how they bolster economic development. As the subtitle indicates, the book examines as well how controversies over valuable property rights are resolved: by agreement, by violence, or by law.

The essays begin by surveying the approaches to property taken by early political economists and move to colorful applications of property rights theory concerning the Wild West, the Amazon, endangered species, and the broadcast spectrum. These examples illustrate the process of defining and defending property rights, and demonstrate what difference property rights make. The book then considers a number of topics raised by private property rights, analytically complex topics concerning pollution externalities, government taking of property, and land use management policies such as zoning.

Overall, the book is intended as an introduction to the economics and law of property rights. It is divided into six parts, with each featuring an introduction by the editors that integrates prior chapters and material in coming chapters. In the end, the book provides a fresh, comprehensive overview of an intriguing subject, accessible to anyone with a minimal background in economics. With chapters written by noted experts on the subject, Property Rights offers the first primer on the subject ever produced. In addition to the editors, the contributors are Louise De Alessi, Yoram Barzel, Harold Demsetz, Thrainn Eggertsson, Richard A. Epstein, William A. Fischel, David D. Haddock, Peter J. Hill, Gary D. Libecap, Dean Lueck, Edwin G. West, and Bruce Yandle.


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this is a good literature book


Property Rights in the History of Economic Thought From Locke to JS Mill
Property Rights in the Firm
Open Access versus Common Property
Gains from Private Property The Empirical Evidence
The Evolution of Property Rights
Contracting for Property Rights
Government as Definer of Property Rights Tragedy Exiting the Commons?
Property Rights or Externalities?
Ownership and the Externality Problem
In and Out of Public Solution The Hidden Perils of Forced and Unforced Property Transfer
Public Goods and Property Rights Of Coase Tiebout and Just Compensation
Cases Cited

Force Threat Negotiation The Private Enforcement of Rights
First Possession as the Basis of Property
About the Editors and Authors

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About the author (2003)

Terry L. Anderson is the President of the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His work helped launch the idea of 'free market environmentalism' with the publication of his book by that title, co-authored with Donald Leal. Dr Anderson's work emphasizes that private property rights encourage resource stewardship by harnessing the incentives of free enterprise to protect environmental quality. Anderson is the author or editor of 37 books including, most recently, Tapping Water Markets with Brandon Scarborough and Lawrence R. Watson. He has published widely in both professional journals and the popular press and has received many awards for his research and teaching. He received his PhD in economics from the University of Washington.

Fred S. McChesney is Professor of Law at the Cornell Law School.

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