Political Entrepreneurs

The Economic Engine of Political Change

12, no 13, articles on eminent domain + 2 bonus tracks

June 20th, 2015 by Edward Lopez

[NB: updated 2016] Here is everything that I have written about eminent domain (not counting blog posts).

Journal Articles:

The Problem With the Holdout Problem,” Review of Law & Economics 9(2), September 2013, pp.151-167 (with J. R. Clark)

Pass a Law, Any Law, Fast! State Legislative Responses to the Kelo Backlash,” Review of Law & Economics 5:1, May 2009, pp.101-135 (with R. Todd Jewell and Noel D. Campbell)

Kelo and its Discontents: The Worst (or Best?) Thing to Happen to Property Rights,” The Independent Review, XI:3, Winter 2007, pp.397-416 (with Sasha M. Totah)

Book Chapters:

“Making Property Rights Stronger in Tennessee: Limiting Discretionary Powers of Eminent Domain,” 2012, in J. R. Clark (editor), Freedom and Prosperity in Tennessee

Property Takings in Developed Versus Developing Countries: Economics, Politics and the Limits of the Holdout Problem,” in Emily Chamlee-Wright (editor) The Annual Proceedings of The Wealth and Well-Being of Nations, vol.2, 2011

Below-Market Housing Mandates as Takings: Measuring Their Impact,” in Bruce Benson (editor) Property Rights: Eminent Domain and Regulatory Takings Re-examined, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010 (with Tom Means, Edward Peter Stringham)

“The Law and Economics of Property and Contract,” in Russell S. Sobel (editor) The Rule of Law, Public Policy Foundation of West Virginia, 2009

“Make Property Rights More Secure: Limit Eminent Domain,” in Russell S. Sobel (editor) Unleashing Capitalism, Public Policy Foundation of West Virginia, 2007 (with Carrie B. Kerekes and George H. Johnson)

 

Op-Eds:

“Ten Years After Kelo, Eminent Domain Blunders Continue,” Forbes, June 23, 2015

“Subtracting Eminent Domain from the Economic Development Equation,” The Enterpriser, 2012

Will the Real Eminent Domain Reform Please Stand Up?Commentary, The Independent Institute, May 29, 2008

Taking the E.D. out of Economic Development,” North County Times, June 25, 2006

Policy Papers:

Below-Market Housing Mandates as Takings: Measuring Their Impact,” Policy Report, The Independent Institute, Nov. 2007 (with Tom Means, Edward P. Stringham)

Papers Edited:

Ilya Somin, “Economic Development Takings as Government Failure”

John Brätland, “On the Impossibility of ‘Just Compensation’ When Property is Taken: An Ethical and Epistemic Inquiry”

both in Edward J. López (editor), The Pursuit of Justice: Law and Economics of Legal Institutions, Foreword by Robert D. Tollison, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010

From the Pages of Madmen, Intellectuals, and Academic Scribblers (p.189, ch.7)

The most successful entrepreneurs know what they do well, they know the market and the opportunities within it, and they choose those activities that create the most value. This is true in economic as well as political markets.

From the Pages of Madmen, Intellectuals, and Academic Scribblers (p.178, ch.7)

[W]hen the right elements come together at the right time and place and overwhelm the status quo, it is because special people make it happen. We call them political entrepreneurs.

From the Pages of Madmen, Intellectuals, and Academic Scribblers (p.176. ch.7)

While we started this book with Danny Biasone saving basketball, we end it with Norman Borlaug saving a billion lives. These stories are not that different. Both faced vested interests, which were reinforced by popular beliefs that things should be a certain way—that is, until a better idea came along.

From the Pages of Madmen, Intellectuals, and Academic Scribblers (p.174, ch.6)

Because there was a general belief that homeownership was a good thing, politicians found the public with open arms.... Everybody was winning—except Alfred Marshall, whose supply and demand curves were difficult to see through the haze of excitement at the time, and except Friedrich Hayek, whose competition as a discovery procedure was befuddled... In short, once politicians started getting credit for homeownership rates, the housing market was doomed.

From the Pages of Madmen, Intellectuals, and Academic Scribblers (p.166, ch.6)

Everyone responded rationally to the incentives before them. In short, the rules that guided homeownership changed over time, which in turn changed the incentives of these actors. And bad things happened.

From the Pages of Madmen, Intellectuals, and Academic Scribblers (p.153, ch.6)

They understood the economics. The ideas had already won in ... the regulatory agency itself. All that remained to be overcome were some vested interests and a handful of madmen in authority.

From the Pages of Madmen, Intellectuals, and Academic Scribblers (p.146, ch.6)

If the idea for auctions of spectrum use rights had been part of the public debate since at least 1959, why didn’t the relevant institutions change sooner? What interests stood in the way?

From the Pages of Madmen, Intellectuals, and Academic Scribblers (p.121, ch.5)

When an academic scribbler comes up with a new idea, it has to resonate well with widely shared beliefs, which in turn must overcome the vested interests at the table. Many forces come together to explain political change, even though it may seem like coincidence of time and place.

From the Pages of Madmen, Intellectuals, and Academic Scribblers (p.120, ch.5)

It’s the rules of the political game that deserve our focus, not politicians’ personalities or party affiliations.

From the Pages of Madmen, Intellectuals, and Academic Scribblers (p.119, ch.5)

In short, ideas are a type of higher-order capital in society. Like a society that is poor in capital and therefore produces little consumer value, a society that is poor in ideas and institutions will have bad incentives and therefore few of the desirable outcomes that people want.

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