Self-Assessment of Takings Compensation: An Empirical Study

Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Vol. 28, 2012

28 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2008 Last revised: 16 Oct 2010

See all articles by Yun-chien Chang

Yun-chien Chang

Academia Sinica - Institutum Iurisprudentiae (IIAS); New York University School of Law

Date Written: May 17, 2010


Several scholars have proposed using property owners' periodic assessments of properties' economic value as takings compensation, replacing the current U.S. regime which uses ex post, ad hoc governmental assessments of properties' market value. No empirical study has yet been done to examine whether the proposed ex ante self-assessment method produces accurate takings compensation. This Article fills the empirical gap by analyzing data from Taiwan's 1954-1977 regime, which is similar to the proposed scholarly models.

I find that most landowners' ex ante self-assessments are not only below their economic value, but also below the market value. The monetary incentives to report lower self-assessments in order to reduce property taxes appear to outweigh the risk that low self-assessments will result in under-compensation. The ex ante self-assessment method, if implemented in the U.S., will likely produce inaccurate property value assessments as well.

Keywords: self-assessment, takings compensation, ex ante, ex post, property value

JEL Classification: K11, K23, M41, M43, M44, M49

Suggested Citation

Chang, Yun-chien, Self-Assessment of Takings Compensation: An Empirical Study (May 17, 2010). Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Vol. 28, 2012. Available at SSRN:

Yun-chien Chang (Contact Author)

Academia Sinica - Institutum Iurisprudentiae (IIAS) ( email )

128 Academia Sinica Rd., Sec. 2
Taipei City, 11529

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

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