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The distributional impact of common-pool resource regulations

  • Stefan Ambec
  • Carine Sebi

Purpose – Regulating common-pool resources is welfare enhancing for society but not necessarily for all users who may therefore oppose regulations. The purpose of this paper is to examine the short-term impact of common-pool resource regulations on welfare distribution. Design/methodology/approach – The authors model a game of common-pool resource extraction among heterogeneous users. Findings – It was found that market-based regulations such as fees and subsidies or tradable quotas achieve a higher reduction of extraction from free-access than individual quotas with the same proportion of better-off users. Also, they make more users better-off for the same resource preservation. Originality/value – The quota regulation has attractive fairness properties: it reduces inequality while still rewarding the more efficient users. JEL classification: H23, Q22, Q28

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Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Indian Growth and Development Review.

Volume (Year): 4 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (September)
Pages: 123-141

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Handle: RePEc:eme:igdrpp:v:4:y:2011:i:2:p:123-141
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  1. Weitzman, Martin L., 1974. "Free access vs private ownership as alternative systems for managing common property," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 225-234, June.
  2. Burton, P.S., 2001. "Community Enforcement of Fisheries Effort Restrictions," Department of Economics at Dalhousie University working papers archive 2001-01, Dalhousie, Department of Economics.
  3. Baland, Jean-Marie & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2003. "Economics of common property management regimes," Handbook of Environmental Economics, in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 127-190 Elsevier.
  4. Baland, Jean-Marie & Francois, Patrick, 2005. "Commons as insurance and the welfare impact of privatization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 211-231, February.
  5. Ambec, S. & Hotte, L., 2003. "On the redistributive impact of privitazing a resource under imperfect enforcement," Working Papers 200302, Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory (GAEL).
  6. Fleurbaey, Marc, 2008. "Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199215911, March.
  7. Dayton-Johnson, Jeff & Bardhan, Pranab, 1996. "Inequality and Conservation on the Local Commons: A Theoretical Exercise," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt7f9913w9, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  8. Sethi, Rajiv & Somanathan, E, 1996. "The Evolution of Social Norms in Common Property Resource Use," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 766-88, September.
  9. Clark, Colin W. & Munro, Gordon R. & Sumaila, Ussif Rashid, 2005. "Subsidies, buybacks, and sustainable fisheries," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 47-58, July.
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