Ownership Concentration: Lessons from Natural Resources

Northwestern University Law Review, Vol. 117, No. 1, pp. 37-70, 2022

Texas A&M University School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 22-45

35 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2022 Last revised: 2 Nov 2022

Date Written: July 14, 2022

Abstract

Concentration of ownership over land or other resources is both a sign and a cause of inequality. Concentration of ownership makes access to such resources difficult for those less powerful, and it can have negative effects on local communities that benefit from a more distributed ownership pattern. Such concentration goes against the antimonopoly principles behind the homesteading land policies and the regimes of many natural resources. This Essay suggests that where concentration is a concern, one might draw lessons for reform by looking to the field of natural resources law, which employs a range of deconcentration mechanisms affecting fisheries, mineral extraction, farmland, and the like that have proven a considerable success. These deconcentration mechanisms have taken mostly two forms: restrictions on how much one right-holder can hold and restrictions on who can hold rights. These deconcentrating measures are more likely to be adopted in resources with a defined, relatively small market, with homogeneous uses and users, and where community externalities from concentration are assessable.

Keywords: ownership, property, inequality, natural resources, market, speculation

Suggested Citation

Casado Pérez, Vanessa, Ownership Concentration: Lessons from Natural Resources (July 14, 2022). Northwestern University Law Review, Vol. 117, No. 1, pp. 37-70, 2022, Texas A&M University School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 22-45, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4163031 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4163031

Vanessa Casado Pérez (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University School of Law ( email )

1515 Commerce St.
Fort Worth, TX Tarrant County 76102
United States

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