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Beyond the tragedy of the Commons

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  • Xavier Basurto
  • Elinor Ostrom

Abstract

Beyond the Tragedy of the Commons - To move beyond Hardin’s tragedy of the commons, it is fundamental to avoid falling into either of two analytical and policy traps: deriving and recommending "panaceas" or asserting "my case is unique". We can move beyond both traps by self-consciously building diagnostic theory to help unpack and understand the complex interrelationship between social and biophysical factors at different levels of analysis. We need to look for commonalities and differences across studies. This understanding will be augmented if the rich detail produced from case studies is used together with theory to find patterned structures among cases. In this paper, we briefly illustrate important steps of how we can go about diagnosing the emergence and sustainability of self-organization in the fishing context of the Gulf of California, Mexico. By doing so, we are able to move away from the universality proposed by Hardin and understand how two out of three fisheries were able to successfully self-organize, and why one of them continues to be robust over time. Keywords: sustainable development; renewable resources fisheries; renewable resources commons JEL classifications: QO1; Q20; D70 Parole chiave: sviluppo sostenibile; risorse rinnovabili; zone di pesca; proprietà comuni

Suggested Citation

  • Xavier Basurto & Elinor Ostrom, 2009. "Beyond the tragedy of the Commons," ECONOMICS AND POLICY OF ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 0(1), pages 35-60.
  • Handle: RePEc:fan:efeefe:v:html10.3280/efe2009-001004
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Beitl, Christine M., 2014. "Adding Environment to the Collective Action Problem: Individuals, Civil Society, and the Mangrove-Fishery Commons in Ecuador," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 93-107.
    2. Bennett, Drew E. & Gosnell, Hannah, 2015. "Integrating multiple perspectives on payments for ecosystem services through a social–ecological systems framework," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 172-181.
    3. repec:eee:ecolec:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:91-103 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Giamporcaro, Stephanie, 2011. "A Market for Environmentally Responsible Investment? Identifying Obstacles and Enablers of Commodification of Environmental Risks in the South African Investment Industry," Discussion Papers dp-11-01-efd, Resources For the Future.
    5. Hayes, Tanya & Murtinho, Felipe & Wolff, Hendrik, 2017. "The Impact of Payments for Environmental Services on Communal Lands: An Analysis of the Factors Driving Household Land-Use Behavior in Ecuador," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 427-446.
    6. Saldarriaga-Isaza, Adrián & Villegas-Palacio, Clara & Arango, Santiago, 2013. "The public good dilemma of a non-renewable common resource: A look at the facts of artisanal gold mining," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 224-232.
    7. Basurto, Xavier & Coleman, Eric, 2010. "Institutional and ecological interplay for successful self-governance of community-based fisheries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(5), pages 1094-1103, March.
    8. Torres-Guevara, Luz Elba & Schlüter, Achim, 2016. "External validity of artefactual field experiments: A study on cooperation, impatience and sustainability in an artisanal fishery in Colombia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 187-201.
    9. Thiel, Andreas & Schleyer, Christian & Hinkel, Jochen & Schlüter, Maja & Hagedorn, Konrad & Bisaro, Sandy & Bobojonov, Ihtiyor & Hamidov, Ahmad, 2016. "Transferring Williamson's discriminating alignment to the analysis of environmental governance of social-ecological interdependence," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 159-168.
    10. Epstein, Graham, 2017. "Local rulemaking, enforcement and compliance in state-owned forest commons," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 312-321.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General

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