Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2014906
 
 

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Bundle-of-Sticks Notions in Legal and Economic Scholarship


Eric R. Claeys


George Mason University

2011

Econ Journal Watch Symposium - Property: A Bundle of Rights, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 205-214, September 2011
George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 12-27

Abstract:     
The phrase “bundle of rights” does not serve as an accurate conceptual definition of property. Nor has that phrase provided a helpful metaphor as used in Ronald Coase’s article “The Problem of Social Cost” (1960) and subsequent legal and economic scholarship. Coase’s usage portrays property rights as a collection of individualized permissions to use an asset, when in sound conceptual usage “property” signifies a domain of authority to decide how to use the asset. The “bundle” metaphor may be understood to state that an owner has a right to deploy his property in any specific manner fairly implied by his general rights of ownership. Although this metaphorical usage is helpful, it remains parasitic on a sound conceptual definition of property. Property is best conceived of as a right securing a normative interest in determining exclusively the use of an asset external to the person of the owner.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 14

Keywords: Armen Alchian, covenant, Daniel Klein, economics, exclude, exclusion, exclusivity, Harold Demsetz, Henry Smith, Honoré, John Robinson, marketplace, Munzer, Penn Central, philosophy, Pigou, possession, private law theory, realism, Richard Posner, Thomas Merrill, transaction costs, way, Wesley Hohfeld

JEL Classification: A10, A12, K11

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Date posted: March 3, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Claeys, Eric R., Bundle-of-Sticks Notions in Legal and Economic Scholarship (2011). Econ Journal Watch Symposium - Property: A Bundle of Rights, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 205-214, September 2011; George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 12-27. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2014906

Contact Information

Eric R. Claeys (Contact Author)
George Mason University ( email )
3301 Fairfax Drive
Room 420
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
(703) 993-8247 (Phone)
(703) 993-8202 (Fax)
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