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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2010

ISSN

0736-9921

Publisher

University of Chicago Press

Language

en-US

Abstract

In contrast to the traditional legal commentary, I find nuisance law to be a coherent body of rules that serves an explainable function. Nuisance optimally regulates activity levels. Nuisance law induces actors to choose socially optimal activity levels by imposing liability when externalized costs are far in excess of externalized benefits or far in excess of background external costs. The new enforcement actions for lead paint abatement or gun control purposes have an arguable theoretical basis in nuisance law. However, as currently framed, the lawsuits are inconsistent with significant parts of the doctrine and the theory.

Comments

Boston University School of Law Working Paper No. 08-19

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