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The Hilton Center

College of Social Sciences and Public Policy

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Summaries

1. Creating competition among sellers of land can facilitate land assembly and development
The holdout problem is often cited as a justification for eminent domain, but there are other less intrusive ways to facilitate land assembly. In an article in the Journal of Urban Economics, Florida State professors Mark Isaac and Carl Kitchens, along with Florida State economics PhD graduate Javier Portillo, use experimental economic methods to analyze how competition among sellers affects land assembly. They find that creating competition among sellers significantly increases the chances of successful land assembly without the use of eminent domain or contingency contracts. Read the complete summary below.

2. Civil asset forfeiture decreases non-violent crime but has a hidden cost
Civil asset forfeiture reduces the financial incentives of crime by allowing police to seize assets, but it also alters the incentives of local police departments. New research by Florida State University Professors Shawn Kantor and Carl Kitchens, along with PhD student Stephen Pawlowski, examines the effect that a 1984 expansion of civil asset forfeiture had on criminal activity. They find that it reduced non-violent crime, had no impact on violent crime, and led to an increase in traffic fatalities as police reallocated resources from monitoring traffic to policing drug crimes. Read the complete summary below.