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The Evolution of Resource Property Rights$
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Anthony Scott

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780198286035

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198286035.001.0001

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Concepts in Resource Property Rights

Concepts in Resource Property Rights

(p.3) 1 Concepts in Resource Property Rights
The Evolution of Resource Property Rights

Anthony Scott

Oxford University Press

This opening chapter explains how the ‘completeness’ of a property right is measured by the extent to which it has all of six ‘characteristics’. These are exclusivity, duration, flexibility, quality of title, transferability, and divisibility. Each set of chapters, dealing with rights over a particular resource: water, fisheries, minerals, or forest, examines the amount and types of characteristic with which its rights are equipped. Rights are distinguished from the ‘powers’. The chapter presents ‘demand’ and ‘supply’ for characteristics as holders interact. ‘Demand’ has flowed from owners who in the course of disputes have found their rights' characteristics to be inadequate. The chapter examines sources of ‘supply’ in detail: the courts — hearing cases in property, tort or contract law; government — legislating rights and taxes directly or making rules for public-land disposal; manorial custom; and military invasion.

Keywords:   common law, courts, custom, demand, law of property, legislation, resource taxes, supply, tort of nuisance law, property holder

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