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Trade, Tragedy, and the Commons

Author

Listed:
  • Brian R. Copeland
  • M. Scott Taylor

Abstract

We develop a theory of resource management where the degree to which countries escape the tragedy of the commons, and hence the de facto property rights regime, is endogenously determined. Three forces determine success or failure in resource management: the regulator's enforcement power, the extent of harvesting capacity, and the ability of the resource to generate competitive returns without being extinguished. The model can explain heterogeneity across countries and resources in the effectiveness of resource management, and it predicts that changes in prices, population, and technology can cause transitions to better or worse management regimes. (JEL P14, Q21, Q22, Q23, Q32)

Suggested Citation

  • Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 2009. "Trade, Tragedy, and the Commons," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 725-749, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:3:p:725-49
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.3.725
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 1994. "North-South Trade and the Global Environment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 851-874, September.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • P14 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Property Rights
    • Q21 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q22 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Fishery
    • Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry
    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development

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