Cycle 1 - Research Round 1: Property Rights

The concept of property most people have is the idea of “Property Rights”. Property Rights is the idea that an individual has control over their “own” property. For example, private property can include real estate, stocks, copyrights, etc. Depending on how extreme an economic system can go, one could argue that things like air and water can be privatized. For the most part, we can say that items that aren't essential for survival can be privatized. On the other hand, we can have public property or collective property. This type property is owned by a group or everyone; the use of it is determined by the collective will of the owners.

There are two main types of property: tangible property and intangible property. For my research question, I'll be focusing on intangible property.

In essence, intangible property is property that isn't physical. Stocks, which I mentioned before, are an example of intangible property. When you have a stock of a company, you don't have any physical ownership of it. You don't have ownership over its infrastructure, machinery, intellectual property, etc. In other words, the stockholder has no ownership over the company's capital (non-human resources). Despite this, the stock still has legitimate value in the real world, as the stockholder has some sort of ownership of the company. This is due to the fact that the stockholder has directly invested their money into the company. As the company grows, the stock’s value grows, despite the item being intangible.

Relating back to my topic of irrational property, intangible private property is an important concept. Even non-physical property may have some real world merit like with the concepts of stocks. I may not be able to have a physical claim on something, though my invested money is being rewarded with the theoretical ownership of a company.

Original Post

Hey Opal,

Nicely detailed research. For you upcoming research if you still cover property rights you could look into how the property rights of First Nations people have been obstructed. Back then and now this is still an issue. Currently, in BC there's been a plan to build a large ski resort in the Purcell Mountain Range. The plan which has been in the making for the past 25 years has uprose some issues. One being the land where the ski resort (Jumbo Valley ski resort) is going to be built belongs to the Ktunaxa nations where they've lived there for the past 400 generations and also is the land of the grizzly bear spirit. Ktunaxa is the project however their demands are being ignored by the builders. So what property rights do they exactly have in this situation? 

Here's some more info if you're interested.

Nice work!

Hey Patil

I read your post and I found it very interesting. To begin with, your inquiry question was one of a kind and that I would not have thought about. Before reading your post, all I thought about owning property is basically what is tangible. But can the government allow people to own even invisible factors such as air above the tangible property or even the space occupied by the latter? According to Brendon DeSimone, few people spend time thinking about air rights. In the site below, Brendon says that most property ownership laws are based on the Latin doctrine, “For whoever owns the soil, it is theirs up to heaven and down to hell.”

I am looking forward to reading your findings!!



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That is a very detail research!  It was so interesting reading your post. i really like the point on people could argue that air and water should be privatized. maybe you could look into history background of property ownership rights in different countries. Also you would check on different countries current constitutions and see how they work on the property rights.I hope this helps

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