Journal Article

Two Remarks on the Property-Rights Literature

Eric Maskin and Jean Tirole

in The Review of Economic Studies

Published on behalf of Review of Economic Studies Ltd

Volume 66, issue 1, pages 139-149
Published in print January 1999 | ISSN: 0034-6527
Published online January 1999 | e-ISSN: 1467-937X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-937X.00081
Two Remarks on the Property-Rights Literature

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We first point out that the recent property-rights literature is based on three assumptions: (1) that contracts are always subject to renegotiation; (2) that the exercise of a property right confers a private benefit and (3) that parties are risk-neutral. Building on Hart-Moore (1999), we provide conditions under which an optimal contract consists of nothing more than an assignment of property rights.

We also examine the robustness of some of the literature's standard predictions about asset ownership to the introduction of mechanisms for eliciting parties' ex post willingness to pay for the assets (such as options or financial markets). To illustrate the issue, we revisit the Hart-Moore (1990) proposition that joint ownership is suboptimal, and argue that ownership by a single party is dominated by joint ownership with put options.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Economics

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