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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Dynamic Analytics Of Property Law, Michael Heller Jan 2001

The Dynamic Analytics Of Property Law, Michael Heller

Faculty Scholarship

The standard property trilogy of private, commons, and state has become so outdated that it now impedes imagination and innovation at the frontiers of ownership. This essay suggests two approaches – creating new ideal types and synthesizing existing ones – that may help update our static property metaphors. Using these dynamic approaches to property analytics, legal theory can move beyond polarizing oppositions that have made jurisprudential debates unsolvable and rendered concrete problems invisible.


What Happened To Property In Law And Economics?, Thomas W. Merrill, Henry E. Smith Jan 2001

What Happened To Property In Law And Economics?, Thomas W. Merrill, Henry E. Smith

Faculty Scholarship

Property has fallen out of fashion. Although people are as concerned as ever with acquiring and defending their material possessions, in the academic world there is little interest in understanding property. To some extent, this indifference reflects a more general skepticism about the value of conceptual analysis, as opposed to functional assessment of institutions. There is, however, a deeper reason for the indifference to property. It is a commonplace of academic discourse that property is simply a "bundle of rights," and that any distribution of rights and privileges among persons with respect to things can be dignified with the (almost ...


The Liberal Commons, Hanoch Dagan, Michael A. Heller Jan 2001

The Liberal Commons, Hanoch Dagan, Michael A. Heller

Faculty Scholarship

Following the Civil War, black Americans began acquiring land in earnest; by 1920 almost one million black families owned farms. Since then, black rural landownership has dropped by more than 98% and continues in rapid decline – there are now fewer than 19,000 black-operated farms left in America. By contrast, white-operated farms dropped only by half, from about 5.5 million to 2.4 million. Commentators have offered as partial explanations the consolidation of inefficient small farms and intense racial discrimination in farm lending. However, even absent these factors, the unintended effects of old-fashioned American property law might have led ...


The Property/Contract Interface, Thomas W. Merrill, Henry E. Smith Jan 2001

The Property/Contract Interface, Thomas W. Merrill, Henry E. Smith

Faculty Scholarship

This Article explores the distinction between in personam contract rights and in rem property rights. It presents a functional explanation for why the legal system utilizes these two modalities of rights, grounded in the pattern of information costs associated with each modality. To test this theory, the Article examines four legal institutions that fall along the property/contract interface – bailments, landlord-tenant law, security interests, and trusts – in order to determine how the legal doctrine varies as the underlying situation shifts from in personam, to in rem, to certain relations intermediate between these poles. With respect to each institution, we generally ...


The Rise Of Dispersed Ownership: The Roles Of Law And The State In The Separation Of Ownership And Control, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2001

The Rise Of Dispersed Ownership: The Roles Of Law And The State In The Separation Of Ownership And Control, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

Recent scholarship on comparative corporate governance has produced a puzzle. While Berle and Means had assumed that all large public corporations would mature to an end-stage capital structure characterized by the separation of ownership and control, the contemporary empirical evidence is decidedly to the contrary. Instead of convergence toward a single capital structure, the twentieth century saw the polarization of corporate structure between two rival systems of corporate governance:

  1. A Dispersed Ownership System, characterized by strong securities markets, rigorous disclosure standards, and high market transparency, in which the market for corporate control constitutes the ultimate disciplinary mechanism; and
  2. A Concentrated ...