Patents and tragedy of the anticommons

2008-08-10T18:03:41

When thereís no ownership, the pursuit of individual self-interest can make everyone worse off. But Heller shows that having too much ownership creates its own problems. If too many people own individual parts of a valuable asset, itís easy to end up with gridlock, since any one person can simply veto the use of the asset. But property rights need to be limited to be effective. The more we divide common resources like science and culture into small, fenced-off lots, Heller shows, the more difficult we make it for people to do business and to build something new. Innovation, investment, and growth end up being stifled. The Permission Problem

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