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Non-Exclusive Resources And Rights Of Exclusion: Private Property Rights In Practice


  • Gissurarson Hannes H.

    (University of Iceland)


Certain scarce resources seem indivisible, unlike, e.g., land and cattle. But some such resources can be, and have been, turned into private property. In offshore fishing grounds, individual tranferable quotas have been issued to fishing firms that have, as a result, become custodians of fish stocks in those grounds. In the eel fishery on the Danish coast owners of farms by the coast had traditional rights to lay eeltraps leasing those rights out to professional fishermen. In the 1920s in the U.S., individual firms were gradually being granted, by court decision, exclusive broadcasting rights in a certain area and on a certain frequency. Grazing rights in Iceland were, from the beginning, allocated by quotas belonging to individual farmers. Fishing rights in Icelandic salmon rivers were also alocated by tradition to individual farmers.Certaines ressources rares semblent être indivisibles, contrairement à la terre et aux bovins par exemple. Mais de telles ressources peuvent devenir, et sont devenues, des biens privés. Dans le domaine des zones de pêche offshore, des quotas individuels transférables ont étés accordés aux entreprises de pêche qui sont devenues les gardiennes des stocks de poissons dans ces zones. Dans les pêcheries danguilles sur les côtes danoises, les propriétaires des fermes côtières avaient traditionnellement des droits pour poser des pièges et pouvaient louer ces droits à des pêcheurs professionnels. Dans les années 20 aux Etats Unis, des décisions de justice ont graduellement accordé à des entreprises individuelles des droits exclusifs de radiodiffusion sur certaines zones et sur certaines fréquences. Les droits de pâturage en Islande furent originellement alloués par quotas à des fermiers individuels. Les droits de pêche dans les rivières peuplées de saumons en Islande furent aussi alloués de manière traditionnelle à des fermiers individuels.

Suggested Citation

  • Gissurarson Hannes H., 2003. "Non-Exclusive Resources And Rights Of Exclusion: Private Property Rights In Practice," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 13(1), pages 1-18, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:13:y:2003:i:1:n:6

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paul A. Samuelson, 1974. "Is the Rent-Collector Worthy of His Full Hire?," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 7-10, January.
    2. Hazlett, Thomas W, 1990. "The Rationality of U.S. Regulation of the Broadcast Spectrum," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 133-175, April.
    3. Ragnar Arnason, 1990. "Minimum Information Management in Fisheries," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(3), pages 630-653, August.
    4. Anthony Scott, 1955. "The Fishery: The Objectives of Sole Ownership," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 116-116.
    5. 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 124-124.
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