University of Chicago Law Review, Vol. 73, No. 4, 2006


Although collective action problems in spatial association can produce undesirable outcomes like concentrated poverty, policy responses are rarely calibrated to address the underlying scarcities in a flexible or fine-grained manner. This paper examines what it would mean to view problems of spatial association as resource dilemmas. I argue that the rich literature surrounding the allocation and protection of entitlements can and should be used to gain analytic traction on group formation decisions that are capable of producing sustained, problematic spatial concentrations. My analysis centers on a single context: concentrated poverty in metropolitan neighborhoods. However, the article probes outward from that focal point to consider the relationship between property and association more generally and to identify conceptual stopping points for the application of property theory to matters of association. By doing so, I make the case for an appropriately limited notion of associational entitlements.


Law and Economics

Date of this Version

May 2006