The Other Space Race: Some Law and Economics of Celestial Resource Appropriation

25 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2018 Last revised: 23 Mar 2018

See all articles by Alexander William Salter

Alexander William Salter

Texas Tech University - Rawls College of Business; American Institute for Economic Research

Date Written: March 18, 2018

Abstract

Private companies are growing in importance relative to governments in outer space. In the coming decades, commercial interests will play a significant role in shaping the space environment. To what extent is this increased commercial presence conducive to human welfare? This article explores this question from the perspective of law and economics, focusing on the incentives for the appropriation of celestial resources by private parties. The paper highlights the conditions under which private appropriation of celestial resources is likely to be wealth-destroying, and under what conditions it is likely to be wealth-creating. The paper concludes by discussing what nation-states ought to do in light of the promises and perils of private celestial commerce.

Keywords: Asteroid mining, first possession, space law, space policy

JEL Classification: A12, F53, K33, Q32, P14

Suggested Citation

Salter, Alexander William, The Other Space Race: Some Law and Economics of Celestial Resource Appropriation (March 18, 2018). Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3122825 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3122825

Alexander William Salter (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University - Rawls College of Business ( email )

Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

HOME PAGE: http://awsalter.com

American Institute for Economic Research

PO Box 1000
Great Barrington, MA 01230
United States

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