2008 Coase Lecture: Lee Fennell on "Slices and Lumps"
The University of Chicago Law School Presents the
2008 COASE LECTURE IN LAW AND ECONOMICS
"Slices and Lumps"
Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2008 4:00 PM
WEYMOUTH KIRKLAND COURTROOM
UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO LAW SCHOOL
Problems involving the aggregation and division of entitlements are ubiquitous in law and in everyday life. Fragments held by multiple parties—such as parcels of land, effort, or segments of a bridge—often must be assembled together to be worth much. Conversely, a presently unified entitlement may be more valuable if it can be split into separate pieces held by different parties. The lecture will examine these "lumping" and "slicing" problems (which turn out to be two sides of the same coin), show how they turn up in both interpersonal and intrapersonal contexts, and offer some tools for addressing them. Attention will be given to strategic behavior and valuation difficulties, which pose special challenges to efficient entitlement reconfiguration.