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Partial enclosure of the commons

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  • Costello, Christopher
  • Quérou, Nicolas
  • Tomini, Agnes

Abstract

We examine the efficiency, distributional, and environmental consequences of assigning spatial property rights to part of a spatially-connected natural resource while the remainder is competed for by an open access fringe. We refer to this as partial enclosure of the commons. We obtain sharp analytical results regarding partial enclosure of the commons including: (1) While second best, it typically improves welfare relative to no property rights, (2) all resource users can be made better off, (3) positive rents arise in the open access area, and (4) the resource maintains higher stocks. Under spatial heterogeneity, we also characterize spatial regions that are ideal candidates for partial enclosure — typically, society should seek to enclose those patches with high environmental productivity and high self-retention, but whether high economic productivity promotes or relegates a patch may depend on one's objective.

Suggested Citation

  • Costello, Christopher & Quérou, Nicolas & Tomini, Agnes, 2015. "Partial enclosure of the commons," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 69-78.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:121:y:2015:i:c:p:69-78
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2014.11.011
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    Cited by:

    1. Fabbri, G. & Faggian, S. & Freni, G., 2018. "Spatial resource wars: A two region example," Working Papers 2018-04, Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory (GAEL).
    2. Croutzet, Alexandre & Lasserre, Pierre, 2017. "Optimal completeness of property rights on renewable resources in the presence of market power," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 16-32.
    3. Christopher Costello & Bruno Nkuiya & Nicolas Querou, 2017. "Extracting spatial resources under possible regime shift," Working Papers hal-01615939, HAL.
    4. N. Quérou & A. Tomini, 2018. "Marine Ecosystem Considerations and Second-Best Management," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 70(2), pages 381-401, June.
    5. Nicolas Quérou & Agnes Tomini & Christopher Costello, 2020. "Limited tenure concessions for collective goods," Post-Print hal-03057036, HAL.
    6. Christopher Costello & Nicolas Querou & Agnès Tomini, 2014. "Spatial concessions with limited tenure," Post-Print hal-01123392, HAL.
    7. Hughes, Jonathan E. & Kaffine, Daniel, 2017. "When is increasing consumption of common property optimal? Sorting, congestion and entry in the commons," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 227-242.
    8. Fabbri, Giorgio & Faggian, Silvia & Freni, Giuseppe, 2020. "Policy effectiveness in spatial resource wars: A two-region model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 111(C).
    9. Christopher Costello & Daniel Kaffine, 2018. "Natural Resource Federalism: Preferences Versus Connectivity for Patchy Resources," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 71(1), pages 99-126, September.
    10. Giorgio Fabbri & Silvia Faggian & Giuseppe Freni, 2020. "On Competition For Spatially Distributed Resources On Networks," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2020022, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    11. Andrew B. Ayres & Kyle C. Meng & Andrew J. Plantinga, 2019. "Do Environmental Markets Improve on Open Access? Evidence from California Groundwater Rights," NBER Working Papers 26268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Incomplete property rights; Natural resources; Common property; Spatial externalities; Dynamic games;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation

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