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Securing Property Rights

A. Patrick Behrer, Edward L. Glaeser, Giacomo Ponzetto () and Andrei Shleifer

No 930, Working Papers from Barcelona Graduate School of Economics

Abstract: A central challenge in securing property rights is the subversion of justice through legal skill, bribery, or physical force by the strong—the state or its powerful citizens—against the weak. We present evidence that undue influence on judges is a common concern in many countries, especially among the poor. We then present a model of a water polluter whose discharges contaminate adjacent land. If this polluter can subvert the assessment of damages caused by his activity, there is an efficiency case for granting the landowner the right to an injunction that stops the polluter, rather than the right to compensation for the harm. If the polluter can subvert even the determination of his responsibility for harm, there is an efficiency case for regulation that restricts pollution regardless of its effects. We then conduct an empirical analysis of water quality in the U.S. before and after the Clean Water Act, and show how regulation brought about cleaner water, particularly in states with higher corruption.

Keywords: Property rights; liability; injunction; Regulation; water pollution (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K11 K13 K32 L51 O13 O17 P14 Q53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016-09
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Related works:
Working Paper: Securing property rights (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Securing Property Rights (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Securing Property Rights (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Securing Property Rights (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Securing Property Rights (2016) Downloads
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