Property Rights

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  • The rights to own and use property, emanating from natural and enacted laws. A property is a possession or entitlement that usually has exchangeable value. Public property, such as a park or a major bridge, is owned by the public, whereas private property denies the public a right to ownership or unfettered access.

    Property may be physical, for example, land, a house, and an automobile, or intellectual, for example copyrights and patents granted to individuals and groups for their artistic creativity and innovations.

    According to the Coase theorem, when private property rights (group rights that implicitly include individual rights) are well-defined and bargaining costs are low, economic outcomes are more efficient when settlements are negotiated rather than regulated. Of course, rights are never absolute. Enjoyment of ...

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