Coase's First Question

4 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2004

See all articles by Lawrence Lessig

Lawrence Lessig

Harvard Law School; Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics


Bruce Owen's recent Regulation article "Assigning Broadband Rights" (Summer 2004) considers two resources: "the right to control access to a local broadband system" and "the right to determine the technical standards that describe which transmissions will or will not be processed for local distribution." With each "right," he immediately moves to consider who, between the owner of physical assets and users of the network, should have the right he has identified. But should the resources that he has identified be subject to a property regime at all?

Keywords: Coase theorem, property rights, telecommunications, innovation, exclusive right, commons

JEL Classification: K11, K2, L96

Suggested Citation

Lessig, Lawrence, Coase's First Question. Regulation, Vol. 27, No. 3, pp. 38-41, Fall 2004. Available at SSRN:

Lawrence Lessig (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics ( email )

124 Mount Auburn Street
Suite 520N
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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