Sharing the Cathedral

78 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2014

See all articles by Rashmi Dyal-Chand

Rashmi Dyal-Chand

Northeastern University - School of Law

Date Written: December 1, 2013


Sharing is an indispensable part of American property law, often mediating the harsh implications of ownership rights. Yet sharing is also a hidden component of this legal structure. In both theory and doctrinal manifestations, sharing is overshadowed by the iconic property right of exclusion. This Article argues that property law suffers a critical loss from its under-recognition of sharing because it fails to use sharing to correct distributional failures in a world of increasingly scarce resources. Sharing could be the basis for developing a rich range of outcomes in common property disputes. Instead, as described by Calabresi and Melamed in their famed article on remedies, outcomes are tagged to exclusion in the form of blanket property rules and “keep out” signs. As a result, sharing currently functions merely to create very narrow exceptions to broad rights of ownership. To correct this failure, this Article presents a model for sharing as a preferred outcome in property disputes. Sharing as an outcome is a powerful means of addressing property inequalities, limiting harmful externalities, preserving efficiency, and harnessing the extraordinary potential of outcomes in property law.

Suggested Citation

Dyal-Chand, Rashmi, Sharing the Cathedral (December 1, 2013). Connecticut Law Review, Vol. 46, No. 2, pp. 647 - 723 (2013), Northeastern University School of Law Research Paper No. 180-2014, Available at SSRN:

Rashmi Dyal-Chand (Contact Author)

Northeastern University - School of Law ( email )

416 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States

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