Article Title

Fair Compensation and the Boomtown Problem

Publication Title

Urban Law Annual


In this Article, the general "boomtown problem" and current compensation schemes are considered, and the appropriateness of subsidy schemes is analyzed on theoretical grounds. This analysis suggests that the effect of these subsidies as usually designed is to reward people who are not in fact injured by the development, and miss many of those who deserve aid. The misdirection is a result of carelessly identifying a community with the people who live in it at a particular time. An appropriate compensation plan requires that the affected groups of people be more carefully described. While the discussion that follows considers the problem specifically in the context of boomtown compensation programs, the analytical approach can be generalized to other geographically related programs.