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The Economic Theory of Eminent Domain
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Book description

Surveys the contributions that economic theory has made to the often contentious debate over the government's use of its power of eminent domain, as prescribed by the Fifth Amendment. It addresses such questions as: when should the government be allowed to take private property without the owner's consent? Does it depend on how the land will be used? Also, what amount of compensation is the landowner entitled to receive (if any)? The recent case of Kelo v. New London (2005) revitalized the debate, but it was only the latest skirmish in the ongoing struggle between advocates of strong governmental powers to acquire private property in the public interest and private property rights advocates. Written for a general audience, the book advances a coherent theory that views eminent domain within the context of the government's proper role in an economic system whose primary objective is to achieve efficient land use.


‘Thomas Miceli offers a thorough and readable review of modern economic theories of eminent domain, several of which he has been instrumental in developing. This will be the ‘go-to’ book on the subject for years to come. Seasoned scholars and students will benefit from his accessible descriptions and careful development of the major principles.’

William Fischel - Dartmouth College

‘Miceli’s book is a must-read for anyone with a substantive interest in the law and economics of property. Its clear, comprehensive, non-technical exposition makes it readily accessible to students of law, politics, and economics.’

Daniel L. Rubinfeld - University of California, Berkeley

‘No scholar is better suited than Tom Miceli to write about the economics of eminent domain. This superb book reflects Tom's strong analytic and superior expository skills.’

Perry Shapiro - University of California, Santa Barbara

‘Thomas Miceli's book on eminent domain will provide for the first time a theoretical work devoted to the economic underpinnings of this basic feature of property law. Because of Miceli's expertise in the field of eminent domain and the accessibility of the book - it is not technical - it should provide a valuable resource to a wide audience.’

Steven Shavell - Harvard Law School

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