University of Connecticut

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Geography colloquium series - John Glascock

Friday, February 20, 2015
12:20pm – 1:15pm

Storrs Campus
AUST 434

Property Rights in the Small and Large

After living in the UK for five years, it became clear to Professor Glascock that one of the reasons that each country chooses various geography outcomes for housing and retail is the notion of small and large property rights.

In the UK, it seems that property rights are defined more in the large or extensive sense and in the USA they are defined more in the narrow or restrictive sense (that is I have very little say over how you develop your property or even how you mow your grass unless it is in the covenant of the property!). That would imply that the UK (Europe in general) would end up with more mixed use concentrated development and the USA with more sprawl (and with retail more concentrated and not near residential—this helps to solve an externality issue). Thus, mean outcomes would be higher in the USA, but with a larger variance. UK outcomes would have lower mean values but also lower variances.

Professor Glascock will give the story and illustrate with three examples of UK outcomes and equivalent USA settings. It will explain why mixed-use is tougher to get implemented in the USA.

In the end, Professor Glascock ventures the notion that this also helps to explain the wealthier 1% (today as opposed to the 1950s) as in the way we view property rights to various social (wealth) outcomes. Property rights in the narrow allows a manager to outsource labor to the lowest bidder even if the country and/or industry in some sense created the value of the process.


Scott Stephenson []

Geography Department (primary), Center for Real Estate and Urban Economic Studies, UConn Master Calendar

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