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The tradeoff of the commons

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  • McAfee, R. Preston
  • Miller, Alan D.

Abstract

We develop a model of scarce, renewable resources to study the commons problem. We show that, contrary to conventional wisdom, property rights can often be less efficient than a commons. In particular, we study two effects: (1) waste which arises when individuals expend resources to use a resource unavailable due to congestion and (2) the risk of underutilization of the resource. We provide necessary and sufficient conditions for each effect to dominate the other when the cost of determining the availability of a resource is low.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 96 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 349-353

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:96:y:2012:i:3:p:349-353

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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Keywords: Tragedy of the commons; Office hours; Appointments; Property rights; Reservations;

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References

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  1. Noam, Eli, 1998. "Spectrum Auctions: Yesterday's Heresy, Today's Orthodoxy, Tomorrow's Anachronism. Taking the Next Step to Open Spectrum Access," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 765-90, October.
  2. Chakravarty, Surajeet & Kaplan, Todd R & Myles, Gareth, 2010. "The Benefits of Costly Voting," MPRA Paper 21372, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Mark Bagnoli & Ted Bergstrom, 2005. "Log-concave probability and its applications," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 445-469, 08.
  4. Chander, Parkash & Leruth, Luc, 1989. "The optimal product mix for a monopolist in the presence of congestion effects : A model and some results," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 437-449, December.
  5. Anthony Scott, 1955. "The Fishery: The Objectives of Sole Ownership," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 116.
  6. Hazlett, Thomas W, 1998. "Spectrum Flash Dance: Eli Noam's Proposal for "Open Access" to Radio Waves," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 805-20, October.
  7. Roth, Alvin E & Xing, Xiaolin, 1994. "Jumping the Gun: Imperfections and Institutions Related to the Timing of Market Transactions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 992-1044, September.
  8. 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.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Property rights and the tragedy of the commons
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-12-15 15:19:00
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Cited by:
  1. Chakravarty, Surajeet & Kaplan, Todd R., 2006. "Optimal Allocation without Transfer Payments," MPRA Paper 18481, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 02 Mar 2009.

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