Property rights

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Derecho Económico

Some aspects of property rights. [1]A property right is the exclusive authority to determine how a resource is used, whether that resourceis owned by government or by individuals. Society approves the uses selected by the holder of the property right with governmental administered force and with social ostracism. If the resource is ownedby the government, the agent who determines its use has to operate under a set of rules determined.

Private property rights have two other attributes in addition to determining the use of aresource. One is the exclusive right to the services of the resource. Thus, for example, the owner of an apartment with complete property rights to the apartment has the right to determine whether to rentit out and, if so, which tenant to rent to; to live in it himself; or to use it in any other peaceful way. That is the right to determine the use. If the owner rents out the apartment, he also has theright to all the rental income from the property. That is the right to the services of the resources.

A private property right includes the right to delegate, rent, or sell any portion of therights by exchange or gift at whatever price the owner determines (provided someone is willing to pay that price). If I am not allowed to buy some rights from you and you therefore are not allowed to sellrights to me, private property rights are reduced. Thus, the three basic elements of private property are (1) exclusivity of rights to choose the use of a resource, (2) exclusivity of rights to theservices of a resource, and (3) rights to exchange the resource at mutually agreeable terms.

The fundamental purpose of property rights, and their fundamental accomplishment, is that they eliminatedestructive competition for control of economic resources. Well-defined and well-protected property rights replace competition by violence with competition by peaceful means.

Private property...
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