[ExI] External costs (was Re: are all cultures equivalent?)

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Wed Apr 22 10:38:26 UTC 2009

2009/4/22 Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>:
> On Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 8:45 AM, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 2009/4/21 Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>:
>>> ### The main point of my paragraph is that once you agree on a method
>>> of generating property rights (be it polycentric, or other less smart
>>> ways) it is a very bad idea to break such laws, whatever their
>>> specific content might be.
>> But you could have property rights to an important natural structure
>> such as a lake with agreed to restrictions on what you can do to it,
>> as there are restrictions on what you can do with your house in most
>> places. Preserving the natural environment is not less important than
>> preserving the ambiance of a neighbourhood.
> ### Sure. You can structure property rights in many ways, and a good
> law will cater to the needs of those using it. How does that relate to
> the question of whether externalities are best dealt with by
> property/tort/contract/polycentric law vs. statutory/monopolistic law?

It is ideal that laws are made and enforced at the most local level
possible, but in some cases this will mean the state, national or
international level. For example, when it comes to sexual behaviour,
the ideal might be the level of the individual, i.e. no law at all.
But when it comes to the destruction of the Earth, the ideal level is
the international level.

Stathis Papaioannou

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