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Abstract

Based on an authentic case of contracting for environmental property rights, our paper shows several implications of applying the Coase's propositions. The case study adds empirical content to basic transaction costs concepts by analyzing the design and implementation of a contractual arrangement between a pollutee a bottler of mineral water Vittel and several polluting farmers. We analyze the bargaining between land and water rights owners and the bottler Vittel to determine how transaction cost issues (valuation disputes, bi-lateral monopoly conditions, and third-party effects) were overcome and how they succeeded in contracting for environmental property rights. We provide several comparisons of the Vittel case with other similar cases, leading to generalizations and testable propositions for environmental rights negotiations.

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