Welcome to the Columbia Alumni Association of Southern California, Inc. - The Gridlock Economy with Columbia Law School Professor Michael Heller

The Columbia University Alumni Association of Southern California, Inc.
would like to invite you to a special networking event with

Michael Heller
Lawrence A. Wien Professor of Real Estate Law
Columbia Law School

and author of
"The Gridlock Economy: How Too Much Ownership Wrecks Markets, Stops Innovation, and Costs Lives"


The Columbia University Alumni Association of Southern California is pleased to welcome 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.”

Saturday, November 15, 2008

5:30 PM  Networking Reception
7:00 PM  Program and Book Signing

Network with fellow alumni

Enjoy cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and desserts

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

Reserve your seat now!  RSVP required by November 7.
  The cost to attend in advance is $39 per person for members and one additional guest.  All other guests and nonmembers are $49 per person. This includes appetizers and hosted bar at the reception (cash bar at the program). Walk-ins will be admitted at $59 (cash only).  Free parking on site.

Click Here to Register

Copies of Professor Heller’s book will be available for sale.  For more information about the book, please visit: www.gridlockeconomy.com.

Questions? Contact Joshua Berman at [email protected] or 310-918-8255.


About Michael Heller
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.

Every so often an idea comes along that transforms our understanding of how the world works. Michael Heller has discovered a market dynamic that no one knew existed. Usually, private ownership creates wealth, but too much ownership has the opposite effect—it creates gridlock. When too many people own pieces of one thing, whether a physical or intellectual resource, cooperation breaks down, wealth disappears, and everybody loses. Heller’s paradox is at the center of The Gridlock Economy. Today’s leading edge of innovation—in high tech, biomedicine, music, film, real estate—requires the assembly of separately owned resources. But gridlock is blocking economic growth all along the wealth creation frontier.

A thousand scholars have applied and verified Heller’s paradox. Now he takes readers on a lively tour of gridlock battlegrounds. Heller zips from medieval robber barons to modern-day broadcast spectrum squatters; from Mississippi courts selling African-American family farms to troubling New York City land confiscations; and from Chesapeake Bay oyster pirates to today’s gene patent and music mash-up outlaws. Each tale offers insights into how to spot gridlock in operation and how we can overcome it.

The Gridlock Economy is a startling, accessible biography of an idea. Nothing is inevitable about gridlock. It results from choices we make about how to control the resources we value most. We can unlock the grid; this book shows us where to start.

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