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date: 22 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The economic analysis of property has progressed in areas of property closest to contracts and torts. Property law and economic analysis serves to capture the role of traditional notions of things, possession, and ownership. The theme of property law is the separation of clusters of resource-related activities for treatment in isolation of their context. The treatment of resource-related activities through rights to things chunks together attributes, activities, and duty bearers for wholesale treatment. These modular things emerge from basic possession and accession. The separation of parts of the world for semiformal treatment extends through forms of entity property, asset partitioning, and mixed systems, all of which promote specialization and investment, but separation comes at the cost of potential strategic behavior: actors favor parts of the system from which they benefit more, to the detriment of others. Thus, property law uses exclusion and governance strategies, equitable interventions, and remedies.

Keywords: property, possession, transaction costs, separation, opportunism, equity, property rules, liability rules, asset partitioning, entity property

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