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Philosophical Foundations of Property Law$
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James Penner and Henry Smith

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199673582

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199673582.001.0001

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Average Reciprocity of Advantage

Average Reciprocity of Advantage

(p.99) 5 Average Reciprocity of Advantage
Philosophical Foundations of Property Law

Brian Angelo Lee

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the state regulation of property, as in the case of zoning or planning regulations, which do not dispossess owners of their land but which may impose large economic losses on some owners of land. It begins with a brief survey of prominent examples from judicial opinions and academic commentary, which provides a basic idea of what work the concept is intended to accomplish and how it is thought to achieve those ends. It then argues that the classic paradigm of average reciprocity of advantage is best understood as arising from a regulation’s having solved a coordination problem, and that the specific conditions necessary for regulatory burdens reliably to provide a genuine reciprocal advantage are likely to be satisfied only infrequently. It concludes that when government regulations burden property owners, the presence of reciprocal advantages benefiting those owners derives its importance, in significant part, not from an illusory potential to make property owners whole but rather from the role that such reciprocity plays in preserving the respect due to civic equals.

Keywords:   state regulation, property law, government regulations, reciprocal advantages, property owners

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