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Entropy in Property

Francesco Parisi

University of Minnesota - Law School; University of Bologna

American Journal of Comparative Law, Vol. 50, No. 3, pp. 595-632, Summer 2002
George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 01-14

This article suggests that property is subject to a fundamental law of entropy, namely that it is affected by a one-directional bias leading towards increasing fragmentation. The application of the laws of entropy to property further indicates that one can avoid this tendency only in the purely abstract world of zero transaction costs. Building upon this consideration, I consider the choice of remedies in property law, focusing on legal rules that are designed to promote (a) functional, (b) legal, and (c) physical unity in property. I provide examples drawn from both common law and civil law systems, supporting the hypothesis that legal rules are instrumental in combating entropy in property.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 56

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Date posted: March 22, 2001  

Suggested Citation

Parisi, Francesco, Entropy in Property. American Journal of Comparative Law, Vol. 50, No. 3, pp. 595-632, Summer 2002; George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 01-14. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=264315 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.264315

Contact Information

Francesco Parisi (Contact Author)
University of Minnesota - Law School ( email )
229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

University of Bologna ( email )
Piazza Scaravilli 1
40126 Bologna, fc 47100
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