Eminent Domain: A Legal and Economic Critique
Our thesis is that eminent domain is both legally impracticable and economically unnecessary for development and prosperity. We offer a brief history of eminent domain law. This law is then criticized on the grounds that all three of its main elements are highly problematic: takings, the public use exception, and just compensation. Finally, economic analysis shows that development and prosperity would be accomplished without the power of eminent domain because private parties’ self-interest would be served by selling to developers who offer a fair price, and even where holdouts still refuse to sell, their holdings can usually be built over, under, or around.