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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to approach the normative analysis of paternalistic laws. Our examples are restrictions on trade in agricultural land: a quantitative restriction in Switzerland and Germany and a fixed price range for lease land in France. We develop a normative framework from the literature and apply it to the restrictions. It shows that the quantitative restrictions apparently rest on a misunderstanding of structural change and can therefore hardly be justified, whereas the price allegation protects from information asymmetries which would lead to unfair results. Hence it can be shown that a normative analysis of paternalistic interventions can produce meaningful results.

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