Appropriability and property

Abstract
This paper challenges the malleability of the idea of property as a relative, indeterminate "bundle of rights", which appears to dominate property doctrine at least since Ronald Coase's "The Problem of Social Cost". Focusing on the core goals of property regimes, the paper proposes an alternative view of property rights - one that is centered on the ability of owners to appropriate the benefits of their assets in the face of a threat from numerous potential adversaries, rather than their ability to contract such assets away within a bilateral context. The paper demonstrates how the shift to a multilateral, appropriability-based analysis allows for a fuller account of what must be the "core" or "baseline" of property rights. Using this account, the paper offers an evaluation of the relationship between such "core" rights and other types of rights traditionally associated with property doctrine, such as rights that have historically been granted to owners under the guise of property rights, contractual rights vis-a-vis third parties and constitutional rights against the public at large.
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