The Titling Role of Possession

In Yun-chien Chang, ed., The Law and Economics of Possession, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2015, 207-33

29 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2014 Last revised: 23 Jul 2018

See all articles by Benito Arruñada

Benito Arruñada

Pompeu Fabra University - Department of Economics and Business; Barcelona GSE

Date Written: June 29, 2014

Abstract

This paper proposes two hypotheses on the publicity requirement and the limitations of possession to provide information for legal titling. It then tests these hypotheses by examining how legal systems deal with possession in movable and immovable property, and comparing actual and documentary possession. It concludes that exercise of possession is effective as a titling mechanism when it is observed by independent parties, thus providing publicity and verifiability of titling-relevant elements. However, given that possession is only effective to inform about a single in rem right, direct and automatic reliance on possession for titling requires that all other rights be diluted to in personam status or be burdened by the possessory in rem right. In any case, public knowledge of possession, either in its delivery and/or its exercise, is essential for possession to play a public titling function. Similarly, documentary possession is only effective as a public titling mechanism in the absence of multiple rights in rem.

Keywords: property rights, enforcement, transaction costs, registries

JEL Classification: D23, G38, K11, K12, L85, O17, P48

Suggested Citation

Arruñada, Benito, The Titling Role of Possession (June 29, 2014). In Yun-chien Chang, ed., The Law and Economics of Possession, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2015, 207-33. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2490372 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2490372

Benito Arruñada (Contact Author)

Pompeu Fabra University - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
Department of Economics and Business
Barcelona, 08005
Spain
+34 93 542 25 72 (Phone)
+34 93 542 17 46 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.upf.edu/~arrunada

Barcelona GSE ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, Barcelona 08005
Spain

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
105
Abstract Views
774
rank
262,123
PlumX Metrics