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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

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Book Chapter

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Boston University School of Law




The property-liability rules framework, which offers a robust positive theory of criminal law, has come under attack in recent years. One critique, which I label the Indifference Proposition, argues that property rules and liability rules are equivalent in low transaction cost settings. In this paper I examine the conditions under which the Indifference Proposition is valid. In several plausible low transaction-cost settings the proposition is not valid.


Published as: "Some Notes on Property Rules, Liability Rules, and Criminal Law," in Research Handbook on the Economics of Criminal Law, 67, Keith Hylton & Alon Harel, eds., Edward Elgar (2012).

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