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Eminent domain (ED), the legal right to acquire property by forced rather than voluntary exchange is often used in the assembly of contiguous properties to accomplish the siting of facilities having a public use characteristic. To gauge the relative economic efficiency of ED, a model is proposed which relies in great part on identification of distributional phenomena in both market and ED acquisitions. Analyzed data suggest that distribution-related issues such as holdout behavior, bearing of transactions costs, and relocation compensation are important determinants of ED's efficiency.


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