Property as a Bundle of Rights

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By Hartmut Zückert:

"Ostrom and Schlager differentiated between various bundles of property rights and their holders, namely

1) authorized users, whose rights are limited to access and withdrawal of resources;

2) claimants, who can also exclude others;

3) proprietors, who have additional management rights; and

4) owners, who also have the right of alienation, i.e. to sell the resource. The stronger the bundle of rights, the less danger to the existence of the common pool resources, they postulated (Schlager/Ostrom 1992).

The concept of property as a bundle of rights permits us to create a hierarchy of the rights of authorized users, claimants, proprietors and owners. We can derive a typology by means of a comparative analysis of cases of common property management around the world, or by looking at the historical commons, as to which forms of management and which constitutions relating to property rights enabled them to survive for centuries." (