The Economics of Necessity

Posted: 31 Aug 2010 Last revised: 21 Jun 2012

See all articles by Keith N. Hylton

Keith N. Hylton

Boston University - School of Law

Date Written: August 31, 2010


The necessity doctrine aligns the private and the social incentive for a property possessor to take a defensive action that prevents an invasion of his property from occurring. The model described here is also applicable to self-help in contracts.

Keywords: necessity doctrine, public necessity doctrine, defense of property, recapture of property, self-help in contracts

JEL Classification: K11, K12, K13

Suggested Citation

Hylton, Keith N., The Economics of Necessity (August 31, 2010). Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 41, 2012, Boston Univ. School of Law Working Paper No. 10-23, Available at SSRN: or

Keith N. Hylton (Contact Author)

Boston University - School of Law ( email )

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