The government’s taking of private property for public use, or eminent domain, is a long-standing practice in the U.S. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo v. City of New London in 2005 expanded the use of eminent domain allowing governments to take private property for private benefit and not just for public use. The motivation for behind broader eminent domain powers is that it can result in economic redevelopment, reduced unemployment and increased government revenues.
That idea has gone largely unchallenged, but a pair of Florida Gulf Coast University Economics professors recently published results of a study showing that this expanded eminent domain doesn’t result in those economic benefits and, in fact, may have the opposite effect. We’ll take a closer look at the study’s findings and the history of eminent domain in the U.S.
Carrie Kerekes, Ph.D., Professor of Economics, Florida Gulf Coast University
Dean Stansel, Ph.D., Professor of Economics, Florida Gulf Coast University