EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

A Bundle Theorist Holds On to His Collection of Sticks

Stephen R. Munzer

Econ Journal Watch, 2011, vol. 8, issue 3, pages 265-273

Abstract: For nearly a century, most persons who have studied or written about property have conceived of it as a bundle of rights or, colloquially, as a bundle of sticks. In the mid 1990s, several philosophically minded academic lawyers questioned whether property should be thought of as a bundle at all. The impact of their work is reflected in Merrill and Smith (2007), a highly regarded and intellectually challenging casebook used in many U.S. law schools. Merrill and Smith emphasize that property is centrally a right to exclude and is generally held _in rem_, that is, is good against all the world. They find bundle theories of property defective for various reasons. This essay argues to the contrary. There are solid grounds for holding on to at least some bundle theories, which facilitate the careful analysis of the complexity of property. Moreover, Merrill and Smith's criticisms are often misguided or ineffective. Lastly, their account gives an overly simple picture of property and views property law as a more unified subject than it actually is.

Keywords: Property; bundle of rights; exclusion; rights; legal realism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A1 K00 K1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
References: View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://econjwatch.org/file_download/505/MunzerSept2011.pdf (application/pdf)
http://econjwatch.org/749 (text/html)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: http://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ejw:journl:v:8:y:2011:i:3:p:265-273

Access Statistics for this article

Econ Journal Watch is edited by Daniel Klein

More articles in Econ Journal Watch from Econ Journal Watch
Contact information at EDIRC.
Series data maintained by Jason Briggeman (). This e-mail address is bad, please contact .

 
Page updated 2013-02-17
Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:8:y:2011:i:3:p:265-273