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The Tragedy of the Commons from a Game-Theoretic Perspective

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  • Florian K. Diekert

    () (Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), Department of Biology, University of Oslo, Postbox 1066, 0316 Oslo, Norway
    Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O. 1095, 0317 Oslo, Norway)

Abstract

Twenty years after the declarations from the Earth Summit in Rio, the world faces an unattenuated host of problems that threaten the goal of sustainable development. The challenge to cooperatively solve socio-ecological problems has been portrayed in Garrett Hardin’s essay “The Tragedy of the Commons”. While this paper remains controversial, it has inspired a vast number of theoretical, experimental, and empirical contributions that have clarified the mechanisms of collective action problems and suggested ways to overcome these. This article reviews the recent game-theoretic research in this field.

Suggested Citation

  • Florian K. Diekert, 2012. "The Tragedy of the Commons from a Game-Theoretic Perspective," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(8), pages 1-11, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:4:y:2012:i:8:p:1776-1786:d:19419
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:eee:eecrev:v:99:y:2017:i:c:p:43-55 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Stephen Polasky & Nori Tarui & Gregory Ellis & Charles Mason, 2006. "Cooperation in the commons," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 29(1), pages 71-88, September.
    3. Mason, Charles F. & Polasky, Stephen & Tarui, Nori, 2017. "Cooperation on climate-change mitigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 43-55.
    4. Elinor Ostrom, 2000. "Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 137-158, Summer.
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    Cited by:

    1. Manzoor, Talha & Rovenskaya, Elena & Muhammad, Abubakr, 2016. "Game-theoretic insights into the role of environmentalism and social-ecological relevance: A cognitive model of resource consumption," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 340(C), pages 74-85.
    2. Wilhelms, Steven C. & Coatney, Kalyn T. & Chaudhry, Anita M. & Rodgers, Aaron D., 2016. "Brinkmanship on the Commons: A Laboratory Experiment Related to African Pulaar Herders," 2016 Annual Meeting, February 6-9, 2016, San Antonio, Texas 230085, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    game theory; renewable resources; tragedy of the commons;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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