Partition and Revelation

Author: 
Lee Fennell
with: 
Yun-chien Chang

Judicial partition works like a private taking, yet it has been under-theorized. Existing literature has focused on partition in kind and partition by sale, while ignoring intermediate partition approaches like partial partition that are prevalent in practice. Little attention has been given to the use of revelation mechanisms such as self-assessment, nor to how judicial partition rules cast a shadow on co-owners’ pre-judicial-partition behaviors. This Essay addresses these shortfalls and enriches the debate on the efficiency of legal rules governing partition. Our primary contributions include bringing partial partition into the theoretical framework and proposing new self-assessment-based partition rules that can extract information about co-owners’ valuations without creating distortions in co-owner behavior. Note: The attached document includes the appendices to the Essay.