The Inevitable Trend Toward Universally Recognized Signals of Property Claims: An Essay for Carol Rose

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal, Vol. 19, March 2011

Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 415

24 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2010 Last revised: 5 Nov 2010

Robert C. Ellickson

Yale Law School

Date Written: October 28, 2010

Abstract

Carol Rose has identified the study of the communication of property claims as her central scholarly project. In this tribute to her distinguished career, I discuss whether a method of communicating a property claim - for example, the building of a fence around cultivated land - tends to be universal or to vary from one interpretative community to another. On account of increasing urbanization and long-distance travel, a property claimant in a given cultural setting must anticipate that some passersby will be total strangers. I contend that this reality prompts claimants to favor furnishing nonverbal visual cues, such as fences, that people of all backgrounds should be able to recognize.

Keywords: property, property claims, interpretative communities, sign language

JEL Classification: K11, Q15

Suggested Citation

Ellickson, Robert C., The Inevitable Trend Toward Universally Recognized Signals of Property Claims: An Essay for Carol Rose (October 28, 2010). William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal, Vol. 19, March 2011; Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 415. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1699427

Robert C. Ellickson (Contact Author)

Yale Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States
203-432-7033 (Phone)

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