Economic Justifications for Kelo?

A friend who is a professor at another law school sends along this request:

I hope you don't mind another effort to pick your brain as I compile materials for my Law & Econ class. For takings, I'm assigning Thomas Merrill's 1986 article on "public use," and I'm trying to add a few short economics-minded discussions of Kelo. First, I was planning on assigning your and Eugene's blog posts on Kelo.

Second — and here's my question — do you know of any pro-Kelo articles / blog posts that are economics-minded? Most of the pro-Kelo stuff I've seen is either (1) "economic development is good, so it's 'public use'" or (2) the outcome in Kelo was dictated by precedent. I'm not too interested in those points; I'd like an economics-minded argument for a broad construction of "public use." If you don't know of any such pro-Kelo items, I'd settle for a pre-Kelo economics-minded argument for a broad construction of "public use."

I checked with Eugene and neither he nor I have come across anything along these lines in the blogosphere. If any readers have seen any economic analysis of Kelo that makes an economically-sophisticated argument in favor of a broad construction of Kelo, please send me an email with the link or post it in the Comments. If anyone comes up with anything, I'll post the links.



Two people have contacted me with their arguments for an economic defense of Kelo, here and here.