Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello

Titling Systems

  • Benito ArruñadaEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_536


Titling systems are the institutions used to enforce property rights as rights in rem and reduce the cost of transacting on them. To be effective in non-local markets, they require a registry, which produces information on claims or rights, thus allowing the judge to verify them, establish their relative priority, and solve conflicts between claimholders by adjudicating rights in rem and in personam to them. Since the judge relies on register evidence, access to registers also allows contractual parties to reduce their information asymmetry before transacting.

Introduction: The Tradeoff between Property Enforcement and Transaction Costs

Rights to land and many other assets can be enforced as property rights, iura in rem, claimable against the asset itself and therefore valid against all persons, erga omnes. These property rights are said to “run with the land,” meaning that they survive unaltered through all kinds of transactions, and transformations dealing with other...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Arruñada B (2012) Institutional foundations of impersonal exchange: the theory and policy of contractual registries. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baird DG, Jackson TH (1984) Information, uncertainty, and the transfer of property. J Leg Stud 13:299–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Further Reading

  1. Arruñada B (2003) Property enforcement as organized consent. J Law Econ Org 19:401–444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arruñada B (2011) Property titling and conveyancing. In: Ayotte K, Smith HE (eds) Research handbook on the economics of property law. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, pp 237–256Google Scholar
  3. Arruñada B (2015) The titling role of possession. In Chang Y (ed) The law and economics of possession. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  4. Arruñada B, Garoupa N (2005) The choice of titling system in land. J Law Econ 48:709–727CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Deininger K, Feder G (2009) Land registration, governance, and development: evidence and implications for policy. World Bank Res Obs 24:233–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ellickson RC, Thorland CD (1995) Ancient land law: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel. Chicago-Kent Law Rev 71:321–411Google Scholar
  7. Hansmann H, Kraakman R (2002) Property, contract, and verification: the numerus clausus problem and the divisibility of rights. J Leg Stud 31:S373–S420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Merrill TW, Smith HE (2000) Optimal standardization in the law of property: the numerus clausus principle. Yale Law J 110:1–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Merrill TW, Smith HE (2001) The property/contract interface. Columbia Law Rev 101:773–852CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Merrill TW, Smith HE (2001) What happened to property in law and economics? Yale Law J 111:357–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pompeu Fabra University and BGSEBarcelonaSpain