Understanding the economy as a dynamic, complex system relies on the foundational work of several economists, including Adam Smith (of course) and Ronald Coase. As Coase observed in his 1991 Nobel Prize address, What I have done is to show the importance for the working of the economic system of what may be termed the … More Coase’s influence on economics, and Adam Smith’s influence on Coase
Ronald Coase passed away yesterday, four months shy of his 103rd birthday and working right up to the end. An archive search here shows how deeply Coase’s work influences Mike’s and mine, and we are not alone — Coase was one of the most influential economists of the 20th century, an influence made even more … More Appreciation of Ronald Coase
Michael Giberson The United States Supreme Court chose to let stand a Minnesota Supreme Court decision concerning the rights of organic farmers exposed to pesticide drift from neighboring conventional farms. In the case Johnson v. Paynesville Farmers Union Cooperative Oil Co., the organic-farming Johnsons had sued conventional-farming Paynesville for damages after pesticide drift from Paynesville’s farm … More Are property rights now more clearly defined for organic farmers in Minnesota?
Michael Giberson The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled today that pesticide drifting across property lines onto an organic farmer’s crop does not constitute a trespass under state law. The court dismissed the trespass claim as well as accompanying claims asserting nuisance and negligence under laws that govern organic farming. The organic farming laws regulate what a … More Minnesota Supreme Court rules pesticide drift is not a trespass, but might be a nuisance
Michael Giberson I’m writing in praise of a New York Times article on natural gas fracking. Yes, really! Even more surprising, I’m writing in praise of a New York Times on fracking written by Ian Urbina. Yes, really! What is this marvel, you ask? I answer, “Rush to Drill for Natural Gas Creates Conflicts With Mortgages.” What is so … More Praise for a New York Times article on natural gas fracking (Or, How property rights help mitigate potential environmental harms)
Michael Giberson A few weeks back Lynne drew attention to an interesting property dispute between neighboring farmers in Minnesota, currently the subject of legal action (see news summary here, related court decision here). In brief, the issue is pesticide drift from conventionally farmed crops onto a neighboring organic farm, and whether the organic farm can … More A Coasian look at pesticide and genetic drift
Lynne Kiesling A ruling last week from Minnesota’s Court of Appeals provides an interesting case study in using common law and legal liability (a la Coase) in an environmental case. As summarized in the St. Cloud Times, the issue at hand is pesticide drift — when pesticide spray on one field is carried over to … More Coase, legal liability, and pesticide drift