Chicago’s Best Ideas: Are Property Rights Really So Good?
Two, or even three, of Chicago’s Best Ideas (in the past) involve the genius of simple rules, such as clear property rights. Parties are expected to bargain with one another after they have knowledge of who controls what. Most of contracts, corporate law, employment law, and intellectual property start with this idea, while torts, family law, and environmental law are usually understood as beginning with what can be called a fair-division norm. In this CBI, Professor Levmore described the great ideas behind these approaches, and then offered some new ideas about the evolution of law around the question of when a single-winner baseline makes sense.