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Monday, March 29, 2010

Hernando de Soto and Property in a Market Economy

De Soto Book I'm delighted to announce the publication of Hernando de Soto and Property in a Market Economy, a book that I edited for Ashgate.  Here's the back-cover blurb:

Hernando de Soto is one of the world's leading public intellectuals. His books The Mystery of Capital and The Other Path have had a tremendous impact on debates about international development. But his work also has been controversial, and some of his arguments have received sustained criticism.  One of de Soto's core ideas is that the institution of private property is necessary for the proper functioning of a market economy.  Yet even though many property scholars closely follow de Soto's work, his ideas have been neglected in property law scholarship.  And although his work has been widely discussed in the context of property in developing countries, it has not had the same impact on the property issues that arise in mature market economies like the United States. This new collection seeks to remedy this neglect, bringing together a diverse group of scholars to apply de Soto's work to a wide range of contemporary issues in property law and theory. The important contribution it makes to debates and controversies in property law, as well as in related economic fields, will appeal to scholars of both law and economics.

And the table of contents:

Introduction, D.Benjamin Barros

The costs of regulation or the consequences of poverty? Progressive lessons from de Soto, Eduardo M. Peñalver

Invasions, innovation, environment, Carol M. Rose

Culture and capitalism: a comment on de Soto, Gregory S. Alexander

Hernando de Soto and the histories of property law, Alfred L. Brophy

Anticipating de Soto: allotment of Indian Reservations and the dangers of land-titling, Ezra Rosser

Leaving the body of property law? Meltdowns, land rushes, and failed economic development, Rashmi Dyal-Chand

The bell jar and the bullhorn: Hernando de Soto and communication through title, Nestor M. Davidson

Red tape and gridlock, Larissa Katz

Mercantilism, American style, Nicole Stelle Garnett

Hernando de Soto, formal property systems, and the intangible asset paradox, Juliet M. Moringiello

The economics of welfare: of Hernando de Soto and Susette Kelo, Denis J. Brion

And some nice things that have been said about the book:

'In Hernando de Soto and Property in a Market Economy, leading property scholars masterfully illuminate, challenge, and build on de Soto’s work, connecting it to central questions of property theory and social policy. This perceptive and multi-faceted exploration of how ownership works (or fails to work) offers essential insights to anyone interested in property rights and institutions.'  Lee Anne Fennell, University of Chicago Law School, USA

'This collection is a rich exploration and critique of Hernando de Soto's contributions to our understanding of the relation between the institution of property and the market economy. It is an essential resource for all interested in the theoretical, social, economic and historical underpinnings of land titling, and more generally property law and institutions, as a tool in economic development.' Claire Priest, Yale Law School, USA

You can read the introduction here.

Thanks to all the contributors, and to Lee and Claire.

Make sure your library has a copy!

Ben Barros

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