The article presents findings from a qualitative study of how Russians deal with neighbors who have leaked water onto them. In the Russian context, this is neither an uncommon nor a small problem. Building on US-based studies of neighborhood relations, the article lays out three alternative strategies: avoidance, self-help, and third-party intervention. The Russian participants lived in close proximity to one another and had little opportunity for exit. The study documents a strong preference for self-help, confirming the potency of the relational distance hypothesis for Russia. In contrast to their US counterparts, the Russian participants’ lack of exit did not give rise to more intense and prolonged disputes. The findings suggest that there is a strong informal norm in favor of neighbors resolving disputes among themselves and that the residents who share common entryways (pod”ezdy) work out the parameters of acceptable behavior over time. These informal norms shape Russians’ legal consciousness.
“…mere judicial recognition of the existence of a right doesn’t necessarily lead to meaningful protection for it. Such protection is particularly unlikely when a substantial part of the judiciary (most liberal judges) is hostile to the very idea that this right deserves protection at all.”
In open‐access settings, high‐quality resources are lucrative, yet fencing out potential entrants may be very costly. I examine the endogenous creation of property rights, focusing on the incentives that resource quality provides to close the commons. Analytical examples explore the incentives of locals to increase or decrease the strength of property rights conditional on how locals and nonlocals value the quality of the resource. The empirical analysis looks at a unique resource—surf breaks—and estimates the relationship between the exogenous quality of the resource (waves at the surf break) and local attempts to seize the common surf break. Using cross‐sectional data on 86 surf breaks along the southern California coast, this paper finds that a 10 percent increase in quality leads to a 7–17 percent increase in the strength of property rights.