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What approach to property rights?


In his rich contribution, Arruñada (2017) debates what institutions are needed to enforce complex ‘sequential’ transactions embedded in interdependent private contracts, and more specifically discusses the conditions of their efficiency when it comes to transferring property. Beyond acknowledging the importance of this issue and the very stimulating and often counterintuitive ideas developed in the paper, this short note challenges some of the positions adopted by Arruñada, particularly regarding the relevance of ‘The problem of social cost’ (Coase, 1960) for dealing with this issue. It also raises questions about the institutional, hybrid arrangement advocated as the solution for dealing with sequential transactions.

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Alchian, A. A. (1965), ‘Some Economics of Property Rights’, Il Politico, 30 (4): 816–29.
Allen, D. W. (2015) ‘The Coase Theorem: coherent, logical, and not disproved’, Journal of Institutional Economics, 11 (2): 379–90.
Arruñada, B. (2017), ‘Property as Sequential Exchange: The Forgotten Limits of Private Contract’, published online. DOI: 10.1017/S1744137416000473.
Coase, R. H. (1960), ‘The Problem of Social Cost’, Journal of Law and Economics, 3 (1): 144.
Coase, R. H. (1988), The Firm, the Market, and the Law, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Gómez, M., Rizwan, M. and Ricketts, K. (2012), ‘Origins, Creation, and Evolution of the Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation’, Report to the United States Department of Agriculture, Agreement #12-25-A-5124. Last consulted: 26 January 2017.
Ménard, C. (2013), ‘Hybrid Modes of Organization: Alliances, Joint Ventures, Networks, and Other “Strange” Animals’, in Gibbons, R. and Roberts, J., The Handbook of Organizational Economics, Princeton: Princeton University Press, pp. 1066–108.
Ménard, C. (2014), ‘Embedding Organizational Arrangements: Towards a General Model’, Journal of Institutional Economics, 10 (4): 567–89.
North, D.C. (1991), ‘Institutions’, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 5 (1): 97112.
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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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