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uva.nl

The seminar takes place on Monday March 16, 2009 at 15.00 hrs. in room A101 of the Oudemanhuispoort, Amsterdam. Please register by e-mail at y.terhorst@uva.nl

Detail Summary
Date 16 March 2009
Time 15:00 - 17:00

Abstract

Commons and Anticommons problems are the consequence of symmetric structural departures from a unified conception of property. In this paper, we endeavor to provide a dual model of property, where commons and anticommons problems are the consequence of a lack of conformity between use and exclusion rights. This article suggests that property is subject to a fundamental law of entropy, namely that it is affected by a one-directional bias leading towards increasing fragmentation. The application of the laws of entropy to property further indicates that one can avoid this tendency only in the purely abstract world of zero transaction costs. Building upon this consideration, I consider the choice of remedies in property law, focusing on legal rules that are designed to promote (a) functional, (b) legal, and (c) physical unity in property. I provide examples drawn from both common law and civil law systems, supporting the hypothesis that legal rules are instrumental in combating entropy in property.