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Quality and the Commons: The Surf Gangs of California

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  • Daniel T. Kaffine

Abstract

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. (c) 2009 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal The Journal of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 52 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 727-743

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:52:y:2009:i:4:p:727-743

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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/

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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Property Rights, Snow, and Parking
    by Josh Wright in Truth on the Market on 2010-12-31 03:38:33
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Cited by:
  1. Jonathan E. Hughes & Daniel Kaffine, 2013. "When is Encouraging Consumption of Common Property Second Best? Sorting, Congestion and Entry in the Commons," Working Papers 2013-05, Colorado School of Mines, Division of Economics and Business.

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