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The Gridlock Economy: How Too Much Ownership Wrecks Markets, Stops Innovation, and Costs Lives (Paperback)

By: Michael Heller

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Lawrence Lessig on The Gridlock Economy
Lawrence Lessig is a Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and founder of the school''s Center for Internet and Society, as well as CEO of the Creative Commons project and the author of Code, Free Culture, and The Future of Ideas. In an exclusive guest review for, Lessig shares his praise for The Gridlock Economy and its sizable contribution to the economic policy debate.

For forty years, "the tragedy of the commons" has set the frame for an extraordinary range of social, economic, and legal thought. It oriented policy prescriptions. It set the baseline on reasonable policy alternatives. Its strong conclusion in favor of assigning property rights whenever possible has had a profound effect on everything from intellectual property policy to spectrum regulation. Its simple, intuitive analysis became second nature to a generation of policy makers.

Heller''s book, The Gridlock Economy, completely inverts this framework for some of the most important policy questions we will face in the digital age. His clear and beautifully crafted analysis is absolutely compelling, and will fundamentally change the debate in core policy areas. There are very few books that reorient a field. Almost none that reorient many fields. This is in that "almost none" category: Paradigms will shift. Many of them. --Lawrence Lessig

Short Desription

Twenty-five new runways would eliminate most air travel delays in America; fifty patent owners are blocking a major drug company from creating a cancer cure; 90 percent of our broadcast spectrum sits idle while American cell phone service suffers. These problems have solutions that can jump-start innovation and help save our troubled economy. So, what’s holding us back?

Michael Heller, a leading authority on property, reveals that while private ownership creates wealth, too much ownership means that everyone loses. Startling and accessible, The Gridlock Economy offers insights on how we can overcome this preventable paradox.

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