Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Property as complex interaction

  • HENRY E. SMITH (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

In his important article, Benito Arruñada draws out the significance of sequential exchange for property rights and traces inadequacies in the economics of property rights to its overly contractual focus, to the exclusion of multiple transactions on the same asset. In this comment, I argue that although Arruñada's problem is a genuine one, it is part of a larger inadequacy in the economic analysis of property rights: property institutions have to manage complexity stemming from many kinds of interactions, making it problematic to focus solely on local interactions. Modular structures in property, including legal ‘things’ themselves, serve to manage this complexity. The larger problem of complexity allows us to set sequential exchange in its proper context.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Email: hesmith@law.harvard.edu
References
Hide All
Arruñada Benito (2017) ‘Property as sequential exchange: The forgotten limits of private contract’, published online. DOI: 10.1017/S1744137416000473.
Baldwin C. Y. and Clark K. B. (2000). Design Rules: The Power of Modularity, Vol. 1, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Caballero R. J. and Simsek A. (2013). ‘Fire sales in a model of complexity’, Journal of Finance, 68: 2549–87.
Calabresi G. (1970). The Costs of Accidents, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Coase R. H. (1960), ‘The problem of social cost’, Journal of Law and Economics, 3: 144.
Demsetz H. (1969). ‘Information and efficiency: another viewpoint’, Journal of Law and Economics, 12 (1): 122.
Friedman D. (1994). ‘A positive account of property rights’, Social Philosophy and Policy, 11 (2): 116.
Hansmann H. and Kraakman R. (2000), ‘The essential role of organizational law’, Yale Law Journal, 110 (3): 387440.
Krier J. and Serkin C. (2015). ‘The possession heuristic’, in Chang Y.-C. (ed.), The Law and Economics of Possession, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 149–74.
Langlois R. N. (2002). ‘Modularity in technology and organization’, Journal of Economic Behavior, 49 (1): 1937.
Lee B. A. and Smith H. E. (2012). ‘The nature of Coasean property’, International Review of Economics, 59 (2): 145–55.
Levmore S. (1987). ‘Variety and uniformity in the treatment of the good-faith purchaser’, Journal of Legal Studies, 16: 4365.
Libecap G. D. and Lueck D., (2011). ‘The demarcation of land and the role of coordinating property institutions’, Journal of Political Economy, 119 (3): 426–67.
Merrill T. W. and Smith H. E. (2000). ‘Optimal standardization in the law of property: the Numerus Clausus principle’, Yale Law Journal, 110 (1): 170.
Merrill T. W. and Smith H. E. (2001a). ‘The property/contract interface’, Columbia Law Review, 101 (4): 773852.
Merrill T. W. and Smith H. E. (2001b), ‘What happened to property in law and economics?’ Yale Law Journal, 111 (2): 357–98.
Penner J. E. (1997). The Idea of Property in Law, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Schwartz A. and Scott R. E. (2011). ‘Rethinking the laws of good faith purchase’, Columbia Law Review, 111 (6): 1332–83.
Simon H. A. (1981). The Sciences of the Artificial, 2nd ed., Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Smith H. E. (2011), ‘Standardization in property law’, in Ayotte K. and Smith H. E. (eds), Research Handbook on the Economics of Property Law, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 148–73.
Smith H. E. (2012). ‘Property as the law of things’, Harvard Law Review, 125: 1691–726.
Smith H. E. (2015). ‘The elements of possession’, in Chang Y.-C. (ed.), The Law and Economics of Possession, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 65102.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Institutional Economics
  • ISSN: 1744-1374
  • EISSN: 1744-1382
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-institutional-economics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 2
Total number of PDF views: 65 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 316 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 11th April 2017 - 16th December 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.