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Inefficiency and common property regimes

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  • Fuentes-Castro, Daniel

Abstract

Much of the literature on the commons focuses on the fact that many agents are assigned usage rights simultaneously, but less attention has been paid to the exercise of exclusion rights. The simultaneous exercise of one of the two rights by all the owners of a common causes a problem of overexploitation in the first case (competition "in use") and underuse in the second (competition "in exclusion"). The relevance of both inefficiencies stems from the way they illustrate the general conflict between individual and collective interests. This paper proposes a formal synthesis of the problems of inefficiency associated with the exploitation of resources in common property regimes. The synthesis takes into account the following features: i) the importance of the consumer surplus for the analysis of the issue; ii) the attitude of economic agents in the face of a reciprocal externality linked to the exploitation of the common; and iii) the social and the private costs of exploitation.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 68 (2009)
Issue (Month): 6 (April)
Pages: 1740-1748

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:68:y:2009:i:6:p:1740-1748

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

Related research

Keywords: Commons Anticommons Overexploitation Underutilization Natural resources Common property;

References

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  1. Anthony Scott, 1955. "The Fishery: The Objectives of Sole Ownership," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 116.
  2. Parisi, Francesco & Schulz, Norbert & Depoorter, Ben, 2005. "Duality in Property: Commons and Anticommons," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 578-591, December.
  3. H. Scott Gordon, 1954. "The Economic Theory of a Common-Property Resource: The Fishery," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62, pages 124.
  4. Daniel Bromley, 1992. "The commons, common property, and environmental policy," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(1), pages 1-17, January.
  5. Bromley, Daniel W., 1995. "Property rights and natural resource damage assessments," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 129-135, August.
  6. Buchanan, James M & Yoon, Yong J, 2000. "Symmetric Tragedies: Commons and Anticommons," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(1), pages 1-13, April.
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