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KillerApps Micro: Property Rights
The peer-to-peer rental and sharing economy could lead to more efficient allocation of scarce resources and a cleaner economy.

The externality and time horizon of costs and benefits bedevil college distribution of condoms.

Resource conservation depends on who pays and the time horizon of costs vs benefits.

High prices of copper have led to theft of bronze sculptures for material recycling.

Road tolls that vary directly with congestion have reduced peak-hour traffic volume in Singapore and Stockholm by forcing commuters to internalize congestion cost.

External costs or benefits exist only if property rights have not been clearly defined and/or when the negotiation or enforcement cost exceeds damage.

Transferable fixed-supply permanent taxi licenses result in high taxi fare and poor service with only normal return to current license owners.

Unbundling the intellectual content from the physical embodiment of textbooks might lower the prices of textbooks.

Unexpected market gain resulting from uncontrolled circumstances might serve as incentives to correctly allocate scarce resources.

Most business process patents serve only to slow down business progress without encouraging more inventions.

Uncertain property rights will lead to either underinvestment or unnecessary disputes.

Granting patents to biotechnology discoveries encourages inventions but could delay the introduction of competing products.

Dutch property owners hire free antisquatters to prevent squatters from occuping vacant buildings.

High transaction costs, whether natural or artificial, could delay the transfer of property rights from lower-value use to higher-value use.

Temporary property rights created out of sympathy or a preference for insiders over outsiders might become politically entrenched.

The right to transfer private property has led to windfall gain to right owners and better allocation of scarce resources, such as water and power.

By assigning fishing quotas to individual fisherman, Iceland has solved the problem of over-exploitation typically associated with open access to common-pool resources.

Compensated physician-assisted death could reduce end-of-life health care expenditures and reduce pain and suffering.

Ambiguous property rights and high transaction costs may scuttle beneficial exchanges.

Pollution credits convert the atmosphere from a commons into private property. They can reduce pollution if the pollution cap is lower than the unrestricted total and lower the costs of reducing pollution if credits can be sold from low-cost avoiders and high-cost avoiders.

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