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Property institutions and the limits of Coase

  • DEAN LUECK (a1)

Coase's (1960) contractual single-exchange framework is challenged by Arruñada (2017) as a framework that cannot be used to understand the complex nature of property law and related institutions. Arruñada proposes the sequential exchange model as an alternative framework. Differences between the two approaches are considered and some applications in land and natural resources are used to evaluate his critique. These cases support Arruñada's critique of the simple contracting approach to property, showing that for many natural resources private contracting has not been the solution and that a mix of property institutions govern. Contrary to Arruñada, however, I argue that the limits of the single-exchange framework arise not because of sequential exchange, but because assets (parcels of land) are complex and physically connected.

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Benito Arruñada provided helpful comments.

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Journal of Institutional Economics
  • ISSN: 1744-1374
  • EISSN: 1744-1382
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-institutional-economics
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