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Resale Markets and the Assignment of Property Rights

Resale Markets and the Assignment of Property Rights The consumption of an indivisible good causes identity-dependent externalities to non-consumers. We analyse resale markets where the current owner designs the trading procedure, but cannot commit to future actions. We ask the following questions: (1) Does the identity of the initial owner matter for the determination of the final consumer? (2) Is the outcome always efficient? The major conclusion of our paper is that the irrelevance of the initial structure of property rights arises in resale processes even if there are transaction costs that hinder efficiency. This result complements the Coasian view where the irrelevance of the assignment of property rights is a consequence of efficiency. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Review of Economic Studies Oxford University Press

Resale Markets and the Assignment of Property Rights

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References (17)

Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
© Published by Oxford University Press.
Subject
Articles
ISSN
0034-6527
eISSN
1467-937X
DOI
10.1111/1467-937X.00116
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The consumption of an indivisible good causes identity-dependent externalities to non-consumers. We analyse resale markets where the current owner designs the trading procedure, but cannot commit to future actions. We ask the following questions: (1) Does the identity of the initial owner matter for the determination of the final consumer? (2) Is the outcome always efficient? The major conclusion of our paper is that the irrelevance of the initial structure of property rights arises in resale processes even if there are transaction costs that hinder efficiency. This result complements the Coasian view where the irrelevance of the assignment of property rights is a consequence of efficiency.

Journal

The Review of Economic StudiesOxford University Press

Published: Oct 1, 1999

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