The Economics of Nuisance Law
Keith N. Hylton
Boston University; Professor of Law, Boston University School of Law
January 21, 2009
RESEARCH HANDBOOK ON THE ECONOMICS OF PROPERTY LAW, K. Ayotte & H. E. Smith, eds., Edward Elgar, 2009
Boston Univ. School of Law Working Paper No. 09-05
Economic analysis of nuisance law can be divided into two branches: the transaction cost model and the externality model. The two models provide a relatively complete positive theory of nuisance law. Under the externality model, nuisance law optimally regulates activity levels. Nuisance law induces actors to choose socially optimal activity levels by imposing liability when externalized costs are far in excess of externalized benefits or not reciprocal to other background external costs. Proximate cause doctrine plays an important role in inducing optimal activity levels.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 23
Keywords: Nuisance Law, transaction cost model, externality model, proximate cause doctrine, socially optimal activity levels
JEL Classification: K00, K13, K32Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: January 23, 2009 ; Last revised: July 14, 2010
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