Towards a Theory of Incomplete Property Rights

Antonio Nicita, Matteo Rizzolli, Maria Alessandra Rossi
2007 Social Science Research Network  
The aim of this paper is to critically revise the well-established attitude towards economic theorizing of property as a complete bundle of rights over welldefined uses. While some authors have previously introduced the incomplete dimension of property in their discourse, they have conceptualized incompleteness either in terms of undiscovered uses, weakly enforced rights or weakly partitioned rights. We move from a different idea of incompleteness, namely the initial lack of attribution of
more » ... defined rights over new undefined uses of an asset. We suggest a possible direction of future research towards a theory of incomplete property, namely a theory of property intended as an incomplete bundle of defined and undefined rights over the uses of an asset. The elements of the theory here delineated may contribute to reconcile and to integrate under a common framework some of the main debated issues on the nature and the dynamics of property rights. Moreover, it reframes the relation between externalities and property and shows the existence of a complex coevolutionary relationship between property and externalities.
doi:10.2139/ssrn.1067466 fatcat:53rxlqo4ebheppayeuex6avsa4