The Chaotic Final Frontier : Economic Analysis of Property Rights in Outer Space
McFarland, Tyler N.
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The goal of this paper is to apply the economic understandings of property rights to the current property rights system of outer space. The paper starts out with an introduction to the subject and a description of property rights' importance. Following the introduction, a literature review on related works is given to demonstrate the overall understanding of property rights in outer space. Afterwards, an extensive analysis is made by applying economic theories related to property rights to determine whether the current property rights system is encouraging or hampering the growth of the space industry. The findings of the analysis show that the current property rights system established by the United Nations does not create an optimal economic environment. The space industry suffers from the lack of well-defined property rights, partial exclusivity, limited transferability, and inadequate enforceability. As a result, the growth of the space industry is expected to be limited.