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Law and Economics of Possession


Yun-chien Chang, Thomas Merrill, Carol M. Rose, Henry Smith, James Krier, Christopher Serkin, Daniel B. Kelly, Benito Arruñada, Daphna Lewinsohn-Zamir, Richard Epstein, Daniel Klerman, Shitong Qiao, Abraham Bell
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  • Date Published: July 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107444317

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About the Authors
  • Possession is a key concept in both the common and civil law, but it has hitherto received little scrutiny. Law and Economics of Possession uses insights from economics, psychology and history to analyse possession in law, compare and contrast possession with ownership, break down the elements of possession as a fact and as a right, challenge the adage that 'possession is 9/10 of the law', examine possession as notice, explain the heuristics of possession, debunk the behavioural studies which confuse possession with ownership, explore the LightSquared dispute from the perspective of 'possession' of spectrum frequency and provide new insights to old questions such as first possession, adverse possession and property jurisdiction. The authors include leading property scholars, who examine possession laws in, among others, the USA, UK, China, Taiwan, Japan, Germany, France, Israel, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Austria.

    • Provides a number of different approaches to possession, which will appeal to those looking for in-depth understanding of this important legal concept
    • Avoids both mathematical and statistical treatments, allowing readers to understand the material without having to wade through complex mathematics
    • Covers the issue of possession in major jurisdictions around the world
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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107444317
    • dimensions: 228 x 151 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction Yun-chien Chang
    Part I. Foundation:
    1. Ownership and possession Thomas Merrill
    2. The law is nine-tenths of possession: an adage turned on its head Carol M. Rose
    3. The elements of possession Henry Smith
    4. The economy of concept and possession Yun-chien Chang
    5. The possession heuristic James Krier and Christopher Serkin
    6. Dividing possessory rights Daniel B. Kelly
    7. The titling role of possession Benito Arruñada
    8. What behavioral studies can teach jurists about possession and vice versa Daphna Lewinsohn-Zamir
    Part II. Specific Issues:
    9. Possession and licenses: the FCC, weak spectrum rights and the LightSquared debacle Richard Epstein
    10. Jurisdiction, choice of law and property Daniel Klerman
    11. Adverse possession, optional law, and 'small property' Shitong Qiao
    12. Title in the shadow of possession Abraham Bell.

  • Editor

    Yun-chien Chang, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan
    Yun-chien Chang is an Associate Research Professor at Institutum Iurisprudentiae, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, where he also serves as the Deputy Director of its Empirical Legal Studies Center.


    Yun-chien Chang, Thomas Merrill, Carol M. Rose, Henry Smith, James Krier, Christopher Serkin, Daniel B. Kelly, Benito Arruñada, Daphna Lewinsohn-Zamir, Richard Epstein, Daniel Klerman, Shitong Qiao, Abraham Bell

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