Book Review: Research Handbook on the Economics of Property Law, edited by Kenneth Ayotte and Henry E. Smith

Kenneth Ayotte and  Henry E. Smith, eds.  Research Handbook on the Economics of Property Law. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2011 399 pages); $210.00 hardcover edition.

Research Handbook on the Economics of Property Law, edited by Kenneth Ayotte and Henry E. Smith, is a collection of new essays on the expansive subject of the interrelations of property law and economics.  This volume discusses new directions that are being taken in the economic analysis of property law (1).  Edward Elgar’s website asserts that “legal scholars, economists, and other social scientists interested in property will find this handbook an often-referenced addition to their libraries,” and this seems as if it could prove to be accurate.  It would also be an excellent acquisition for law school libraries as well as pertinent for practitioners specializing in property law.

According to the publisher’s website, this collection features “leading scholars in the field of law and economics [contributing] their original theoretical and empirical research…on property law from an economic point of view.”  Lending fresh perspectives to the current body of literature, contributing authors are primarily American law professors who are widely published in the field of law and economics, including professors from such prestigious schools as Yale, Harvard, and Columbia.  The book contains 17 chapters covering such topics as marital property, bankruptcy, intellectual property, and servitudes.  Of particular interest are the chapters discussing the topic of open access to public resources and the
issues that can arise.  The volume includes an extensive index that includes both specific topics and relevant cases.  Each chapter is also complete with references for further reading and research.  For the price, this book is well worth the investment.

 Reviewed by Stacy Fowler, Technical Services Librarian at the Sarita Kenedy East Law Library, St. Mary’s University School of Law.

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