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Talk with Columbia Law Prof. Michael Heller (Other School Event)

"The Gridlock Economy: How Too Much Ownership Wrecks Markets, Stops Innovation, and Costs Lives": Talk with Columbia Law Prof. Michael Heller

The Columbia University Alumni Association of Southern California is pleased to welcome author and Professor Michael Heller, the Lawrence A. Wien Professor of Real Estate Law at Columbia Law School, as he explores a free market paradox that he discovered. His new book, The Gridlock Economy: How Too Much Ownership Wrecks Markets, Stops Innovations, and Costs Lives, draws on everyday experiences—from airport delays to the mortgage mess—to show how the structure of ownership matters so much more than people may realize. Private ownership usually creates wealth, but too much ownership has the opposite effect—it creates gridlock. Former President Bill Clinton says that The Gridlock Economy is the key to understanding today's economic crisis. Slate notes, “Heller has managed to pull of one of the most perceptive books on property since Das Kapital.

Michael Professor joined the Columbia Law School faculty in 2002 and teaches courses in property, land use, and real estate. His scholarship explores ownership puzzles in a wide range of settings. In his 2008 Harvard Law Review article on “Land Assembly Districts,” he shows how to solve the problem of eminent domain abuse. His 2006 book Corporate Governance Lessons from Transition Economy Reforms just came out in paperback. Prior to joining Columbia, Heller taught at the University of Michigan Law School, where he received the school's award for excellence in teaching. Before that, he worked at the World Bank on post socialist reforms. Heller clerked on the Ninth Circuit and is a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford Law School.

About his book: 25 new runways would eliminate most air travel delays in America. Why can't we build them? 50 patent owners are blocking a major drug maker from creating a cancer cure. Why won't they get out of the way? 90% of our broadcast spectrum sits idle while American cell phone service lags far behind Japan's and Korea's. Why are we wasting our airwaves? 98% of African American-owned farms have been sold off over the last century. Why can't we stop the loss? All these problems are really the same problem—one whose solution would jump-start innovation, release trillions in productivity, and help revive our slumping economy.

Columbia Univ Alumni Assoc So Calif

Saturday, November 15, 2008
5:30PM Networking Reception
7:00PM Program/Book Signing

Mountain Gate Country Club
12445 Mountain Gate Drive
Los Angeles, CA,90049

RSVP required by November 7 for advance payment price.
Advance payment: $39 per person for Columbia So. Calif Club members & first guest
$49 per person for all other guests & nonmembers.
$60 per person for door Walk-ins(cash payments only)

Free parking on site.


Contact Joshua Berman at or 310-918-8255.

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