23 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2020 Last revised: 6 Feb 2022
Date Written: October 21, 2020
This essay argues for an approach to resource access that connects rather than separates questions of efficiency and distribution. It proceeds from the premise that putting together the most valuable combinations of resources—including human capital—is of central and increasing normative importance. Structuring law to facilitate these combinations should be a primary task for property scholars working in the law and economics tradition. Doing so requires engaging with the processes through which complementary resources produce value in a modern society, recognizing how property doctrines work to put together and keep together complementary resource sets, and confronting the ways in which material inequality and unremediated injustice stand in the way of realizing valuable complementarities. Because a complementarity-based vision of property holds the potential to promote efficiency and distributive goals simultaneously, it illuminates how an integrative approach might offer policy-relevant traction toward both objectives.
Keywords: efficiency, distributive justice, corrective justice, property rights, monopoly, human capital, complementarity
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