Putting Humpty Dumpty Back Together: Experimental Evidence of Anticommons Tragedies

16 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2004 Last revised: 11 Jan 2014

Ben Depoorter

University of California Hastings College of Law; Ugent - CASLE; Stanford CIS

Sven Vanneste

Ghent University-Universiteit Gent - Department of Developmental, Personality and Social Psychology

Date Written: February 22, 2004

Abstract

This Article conducts an experimental investigation of anticommons dilemmas. The results confirm that anticommons deadweight losses increase with the degree of complementarity and the degree of fragmentation of property. Our study further provides three novel insights into the problem of fragmentation. First, the data illustrates that individual right holders ignore the expected value of bundling and instead focus on the maximum profit he or she could realize by bundling. Second, the experiments suggest that uncertainty amplifies the anticommons pricing effect. Finally, cooperation is higher in cases wherethe value of bundling is more uncertain as opposed to scenarios where there is relative certainty of creating surplus but there is a (modest) chance of losses from bundling.

Keywords: Anticommons, property regimes, law and economics

JEL Classification: K10, K11

Suggested Citation

Depoorter, Ben and Vanneste, Sven, Putting Humpty Dumpty Back Together: Experimental Evidence of Anticommons Tragedies (February 22, 2004). 3 Journal of Law, Economics & Policy 1 (2006).. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=592166 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.592166

Ben Depoorter (Contact Author)

University of California Hastings College of Law ( email )

200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

Ugent - CASLE ( email )

Universiteitstraat 4
Belgium

Stanford CIS ( email )

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States

Sven Vanneste

Ghent University-Universiteit Gent - Department of Developmental, Personality and Social Psychology ( email )

Ghent, B-9000
Belgium

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