Asymmetric information and the law of servitudes governing land

Antony Dnes, Dean L Lueck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The legal doctrine on servitudes has long been viewed as a Byzantine tangle of doctrine emanating from property law, contract law, and courts of equity. This paper explains the structure of the law governing servitudes on land using key ideas from the economics of information, focusing on easements and covenants and the rules governing their formation and application. We develop a model of land markets that incorporates asymmetric information (adverse selection) and specialization in ownership and use this to offer a rationale for the seemingly ad hoc limits on the use of servitudes. We stress the inability of sellers of land credibly to assure buyers that land is not encumbered by servitudes. Our model explains variations in legal doctrine over time and across jurisdictions, particularly comparing servitudes in the United States and in England.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-120
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Legal Studies
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2009

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doctrine
Law
information selection
specialization
jurisdiction
equity
market
economics
time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law

Cite this

Asymmetric information and the law of servitudes governing land. / Dnes, Antony; Lueck, Dean L.

In: Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 38, No. 1, 01.2009, p. 89-120.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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