Thursday, January 25, 2007

First In Time, Labor, and Property

Marc Roark has two new posts up in his series about the evolution of the idea of property, which we've mentioned here before.  The posts are First in Time, First in Right and How Labor Beget Location in the Economics of Property.  Check 'em out.

Ben Barros

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January 25, 2007 in Property Theory | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Beware Interference with Customary Rights

Thanks to Eugene Volokh for this story on the mayor of the tiny Spanish village of Fago who was murdered.  The mayor had angered some villagers when he "put a stop to the centuries-old custom of herding livestock through village."  He angered other villagers when he refused to issue hunting licenses and prohibited the village's only bar from setting up tables outside in the summer.  Villagers disliked him so much that "the police are considering the entire population of the village as suspects."

According to the Telegraph's story the village of Fago, "the second smallest village in the province of Aragon, comprises fewer than 90 stone-built residences tightly packed on cobbled streets around a 16th century Romanesque church, a stone's throw from the ancient pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela."

Yikes.  Be careful with interfering with the expectations of the people of Fago, especially regarding property.


January 24, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Simunovich on Post-Disaster Redevelopment

David Simunovich (Seton Hall School of Law) has posted The Quiet of Dissolution: Post-Disaster Redevelopment and Status Preservation Compensation on SSRN.  Here's the abstract:

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Gulf Coast residents, community groups, and policy makers have a uniquely powerful and dynamic charge — rebuild a great city. The chosen vehicle for housing redevelopment in Louisiana is the Road Home, a federally funded program designed to combine administrative flexibility while protecting the homeowner status of Katrina-displacees. The Road Home provides renovation grants of up to $150,000 for Katrina-displaced homeowners to rebuild storm damaged residences.

While the basic tenets of the Road Home are largely commendable, the program remains fundamentally flawed because it fails to protect Louisiana's most politically and economically vulnerable residents. In an effort to concentrate post-disaster redevelopment, the Road Home administrators will deny renovation grants to qualified residents living in neighborhoods where too few homeowners are returning to rebuild their community. This Comment argues that the restriction triggers federal displacement benefits under the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act (URA). The URA's displacement benefits will be triggered by certain Road Home property acquisitions under a theory of functional displacement.

Ben Barros

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January 24, 2007 in Land Use, New Orleans, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Symposium on Sprawl

On February 22, Widener University School of Law in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania will hold a symposium titled Squaring the Circle on Sprawl:  Tools and Options for Making Land Development and Conservation Compatible in Pennsylvania.  The brochure is here.  The symposium was organized by my colleague John Dernbach, with an assist from yours truly.  Participants include Thomas Hylton (Pulitzer prize winning journalist); James McElfish (Environmental Law Institute); Joanne Denworth (PA Governor's Office of Policy); Randy Patterson (Department of Economic Development, City of Lancaster); Kurt Paulsen (University of Wisconsin); Patricia Salkin (Albany Law School); Michael Lewyn (Florida Coastal); John Echeverria (Georgetown Environmental Law and Policy Institute); Robert McKinstry (Penn State School of Forest Resources); David G. Mandelbaum (Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersol, LLP); Anna Breinich (Pennsylvania Environmental Council), Louis Biacchi (Pennsylvania Builders Association), and Edward Wilson (10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania).  Pennsylvania and Delaware CLE credit is available.

Ben Barros

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January 24, 2007 in Conferences, Land Use | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Property in Spectrum

Jack Shafer has an interesting article on Slate about using property rules to allocate broadcast spectrum.  An excerpt:

Technology alone can't bring the spectrum feast to entrepreneurs and consumers. More capitalism—not less—charts the path to abundance. Hazlett and others, going back to economist Ronald H. Coase in 1959, have advocated the establishment of spectrum property rights and would leave it to the market to reallocate the airwaves to the highest bidders. Such a price system would tend to encourage the further expansion of spectrum capacity.

Owners would be allowed to repurpose the spectrum they owned—using, say, AM radio frequencies to carry pictures—as long as they didn't interfere with the spectrum of others. Companies in control of spectrum would even be free to subdivide their frequencies and rent it out to customers by the minute for the broadcast and reception of data.

If that last example sounds too weird for words, think of it this way: You rent a chunk of subdivided spectrum every time you make or take a cell phone call.

Ben Barros

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January 22, 2007 in Property Theory | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)