The Evolution of Eminent Domain: Market Failure or an Effort to Limit Government Power and Government Failure?
By Bruce L. Benson
This article appeared in the Winter 2008 issue of The Independent Review

Even if the holdout problem may impede the efficient use of land, it is not the reason for the historical development of government’s power of eminent domain. This power originated after the Norman conquest, when English kings granted stewardship of property to subordinates but maintained the right to take property back, and the barons sought to restrict the king's arbitrary takings.

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