Working Paper No. 02-03:
Fragmentation in Property: Towards a General Model

Author(s):

Norbert Schulz, Francesco Parisi, Ben Depoorter

Date Posted: 2002

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Abstract:

This paper develops a general model of anticommons fragmentation in property. To this end, we differentiate between different forms of property fragmentation. With the use of several functionally related examples, we consider the equilibria obtained under different scenarios. The various illustrations are later utilized as building blocks for the development of a general model of fragmented property. The model reveals that the private incentives of excluders do not capture the external effects of their individual decisions. Specifically, our model suggests that the results of underutilization of joint property increase monotonically in both (a) the extent of fragmentation; and (b) the foregone synergies and complementarities between the property fragments. Within this context, we explore some of the important implications for the institutional responses to issues of property fragmentation.