Property Rights and Biodiversity

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This essay deals with the allocation of genetic resources with regard to property-rights theory. In addition to this, different arrangements of property rights will be examined as to their allocation and distribution effects. The result will show that property rights on biological diversity can only cover patrimonial rights which contain the right to use the resource but not to destroy it. Bioprospecting conventions, such as the well known Merck-INBio agreement, will be examined as mechanisms to establish property rights in terms of biological diversity. Moreover, the identification of these agreements will be critically questioned for their applicability as a form of the Coase-theorem.

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