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What Owners Want and Governments Do: Evidence from the Oregon Experiment

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Abstract:

In 2004, Oregonians approved ballot Measure 37 by 61% to 39%. The measure answered the calls of critics of contemporary takings jurisprudence by requiring either compensation for losses caused by land use restrictions imposed after acquisition of the property or waivers of the restrictions. In all but one of thousands of cases, the government waived the regulations rather than compensate. Three years later, voters acted to repeal most of Measure 37 by an even greater margin. Together the birth, brief life, and rapid demise of Measure 37 comprise an unusual natural experiment in property law, providing evidence that goes to the heart of debates about regulatory takings in property law and policy.
Two important conclusions emerge from the experiment. The first concerns owner understandings the relationship between property rights and governmental action. The 2004 vote reflected the popular understanding of land use restrictions as invasions of ownersÂ’ property rights. Faced with effective repeal of those restrictions, owners came to see the regulations as in fact the source of the property rights upon which they depended.
The second conclusion goes to the impact of requiring compensation for property use restrictions on governmental action. One important argument for broader compensation is that if governments are forced to pay for the impact of property regulation, they will only go forward with regulations whose economic benefits outweigh their costs. By simply waiving all regulations without engaging in cost-benefit analysis, Oregon governments provided empirical support to those that question this account of government decision-making.
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Name: The Law and Society Association
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http://www.lawandsociety.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p303792_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Berger, Bethany. "What Owners Want and Governments Do: Evidence from the Oregon Experiment" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Law and Society Association, Grand Hyatt, Denver, Colorado, May 25, 2009 <Not Available>. 2014-11-29 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p303792_index.html>

APA Citation:

Berger, B. , 2009-05-25 "What Owners Want and Governments Do: Evidence from the Oregon Experiment" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Law and Society Association, Grand Hyatt, Denver, Colorado <Not Available>. 2014-11-29 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p303792_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In 2004, Oregonians approved ballot Measure 37 by 61% to 39%. The measure answered the calls of critics of contemporary takings jurisprudence by requiring either compensation for losses caused by land use restrictions imposed after acquisition of the property or waivers of the restrictions. In all but one of thousands of cases, the government waived the regulations rather than compensate. Three years later, voters acted to repeal most of Measure 37 by an even greater margin. Together the birth, brief life, and rapid demise of Measure 37 comprise an unusual natural experiment in property law, providing evidence that goes to the heart of debates about regulatory takings in property law and policy.
Two important conclusions emerge from the experiment. The first concerns owner understandings the relationship between property rights and governmental action. The 2004 vote reflected the popular understanding of land use restrictions as invasions of ownersÂ’ property rights. Faced with effective repeal of those restrictions, owners came to see the regulations as in fact the source of the property rights upon which they depended.
The second conclusion goes to the impact of requiring compensation for property use restrictions on governmental action. One important argument for broader compensation is that if governments are forced to pay for the impact of property regulation, they will only go forward with regulations whose economic benefits outweigh their costs. By simply waiving all regulations without engaging in cost-benefit analysis, Oregon governments provided empirical support to those that question this account of government decision-making.


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