property, pollution, emissions trading, economic incentives, mixed property, common property, acid rain, tradable permits, free market environmentalism
Environmental Policy | Law
This essay reviews Daniel Cole's "Pollution & Property," a recent book on property rights regimes for pollution control. It questions the utility of property rights typologies as a means of understanding pollution control regimes. The review provides a detailed analysis of the shift of rights that occurs in going from a traditional regulatory program to an emissions trading program. It finds that the shift does not create a fundamentally different property regime and explains precisely what changes. This analysis also explains the meaning of calls to perfect property rights in this context. The review concludes that Professor Cole's book does a good job of refuting free market environmentalists' case for "private property" solutions to environmental problems, in spite of the awkwardness of a property rights approach to pollution control problems.
Driesen, David M., "What's Property Got to Do With It?" (2003). College of Law Faculty Scholarship. 22.
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