Partition and Revelation

43 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2014 Last revised: 25 Jun 2015

See all articles by Yun-chien Chang

Yun-chien Chang

Cornell Law School

Lee Anne Fennell

University of Chicago - Law School

Date Written: April 18, 2014


Judicial partition works like a private taking, yet it has been under-theorized. Existing literature has focused on partition in kind and partition by sale, while ignoring intermediate partition approaches like partial partition that are prevalent in practice. Little attention has been given to the use of revelation mechanisms such as self-assessment, nor to how judicial partition rules cast a shadow on co-owners’ pre-judicial-partition behaviors. This Essay addresses these shortfalls and enriches the debate on the efficiency of legal rules governing partition. Our primary contributions include bringing partial partition into the theoretical framework and proposing new self-assessment-based partition rules that can extract information about co-owners’ valuations without creating distortions in co-owner behavior.

Keywords: partition, partition in kind, partition by sale, partial partition, revelation mechanism, auctions, self-assessment, owelty, subjective premium, economy of scale, land use

JEL Classification: K10, K11, K40, K41

Suggested Citation

Chang, Yun-chien and Fennell, Lee Anne, Partition and Revelation (April 18, 2014). 81 University of Chicago Law Review 27 (2014), University of Chicago Coase-Sandor Institute for Law & Economics Research Paper No. 681, Kreisman Working Papers Series in Housing Law and Policy No. 15, Available at SSRN:

Yun-chien Chang

Cornell Law School ( email )

310 Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States

Lee Anne Fennell (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-0603 (Phone)

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