Proper-coaseans And Property-coaseans

Michael Giberson

On the PFF blog, Tom Lenard comments on Larry Lessig’s article, “Coase’s First Question,” [PDF] in the current issue of Regulation. Lenard summarizes Lessig’s distinction between “Proper-Coaseans” and “Property-Coaseans” in this way:

Lessig argues that “proper-Coaseans” first ask the question of whether the resource in question should be the subject of property at all, before asking where the property right should reside. This is in contrast to “property-Coaseans,” who go straight to the second question.

Lessig argues against creating property rights in internet protocols and says a proper reading of Coase supports this view; Lenard says Lessig’s argument is based on quoting Coase out of context. Good stuff.