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Some Notes on Property Rules, Liability Rules, and Criminal Law

RESEARCH HANDBOOK ON THE ECONOMICS OF CRIMINAL LAW, A. Harel, K. Hylton, eds., Edward Elgar, 2011

Boston University School of Law, Law and Economics Research Paper Series, No. 10-21

35 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2010 Last revised: 9 Jul 2011

Keith N. Hylton

Boston University - School of Law

Date Written: July 27, 2010

Abstract

The property-liability rules framework, which offers a robust positive theory of criminal law, has come under attack in recent years. One critique, which I label the Indifference Proposition, argues that property rules and liability rules are equivalent in low transaction cost settings. In this paper I examine the conditions under which the Indifference Proposition is valid. In several plausible low transaction-cost settings the proposition is not valid.

Keywords: property rules, liability rules, criminal law, transaction costs, bounded rationality, predation, defensive conduct

JEL Classification: K00, K11, K14, K39, K42

Suggested Citation

Hylton, Keith N., Some Notes on Property Rules, Liability Rules, and Criminal Law (July 27, 2010). RESEARCH HANDBOOK ON THE ECONOMICS OF CRIMINAL LAW, A. Harel, K. Hylton, eds., Edward Elgar, 2011; Boston University School of Law, Law and Economics Research Paper Series, No. 10-21. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1649630

Keith N. Hylton (Contact Author)

Boston University - School of Law ( email )

765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States
617-353-8959 (Phone)
617-353-3077 (Fax)

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