Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Rewarding read

My "to do" and "to read" lists keep getting longer so there is not a "to re-read" list. Yet, I have had occasion to have another look at Chris Webster and Lawrence Wai-Chung Lai's Property Rights, Planning and Markets and find it thoroughly rewarding.

They expand on five orders that they see. "Organisational order emerges as individuals pool property rights to form firms. Institutional order emerges as society invents systems of rules and sanctions that reduce the costs of competition. Proprietary (ownership) order emerges as those insitutions allocate property rights over scarce resources. Spatial order emerges as individuals and firms seek locations that minimise both travel-related transaction costs and information search costs and that balance these against congestion costs in crowded cities. Public domain order emerges as individuals engage in collective action through governments and other agencies to clarify property rights over jointly consumed goods ... and thereby reduce the costs of competition, and in the extreme, the costs of anarchy." p. 11. Much of the rest of the book fills in the details.

What a fine way to introduce readers and students to Smith-Mises-Hayek-Coase-Williamson-North and many others.