Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2027134
 


 



Is the Common Law the Free Market Solution to Pollution?


Jonathan H. Adler


Case Western Reserve University School of Law; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

March 21, 2012

Critical Review, Vol. 24, No. 1, 2012
Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-9

Abstract:     
Free market environmentalism (FME) analyzes environmental problems as property rights problems. Whereas conventional analyses characterize environmental problems as examples of 'market failure,' FME diagnoses point to the lack of markets, and in particular a lack of enforceable and exchangeable property rights. This approach works well with many, if not most natural resources. The case for FME approaches to pollution problems is much weaker, however. Most FME proponents suggest that common law tort suits can adequately protect private property and ecological resources from environmental harm. Yet such claims have not been substantiated. The case for the common law as an effective substitute for pollution control regulation has yet to be made. Much work needs to be done before the common law, or regulatory reforms grounded on common law principles, can be seen as a viable alternative to traditional environmental regulation.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 42

Keywords: environmental law, free market environmentalism, property rights, pollution, tort law, common law, nuisance, administrative regulations

JEL Classification: K23, K32

Accepted Paper Series





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Date posted: March 23, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Adler, Jonathan H., Is the Common Law the Free Market Solution to Pollution? (March 21, 2012). Critical Review, Vol. 24, No. 1, 2012; Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-9. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2027134

Contact Information

Jonathan H. Adler (Contact Author)
Case Western Reserve University School of Law ( email )
11075 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106-7148
United States
216-368-2535 (Phone)
216-368-2086 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.jhadler.net
PERC - Property and Environment Research Center
2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

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