The Paper River Revisited: A Common Property Externality Exercise
The author describes a modified version of the Paper River exercise that appeared in this journal in the Spring 1999 issue. The original game was designed to illustrate the application of the Coase theorem for solving an externality problem. In the Paper River, pairs of students share a single productive resource: small pieces of paper. At question is who has the rights to the paper. The author presents a modified version of the game that retains many of the same elements from the original, but the students work in groups rather than in pairs. Doing so increases the transaction costs associated with negotiating a solution. In addition, the productive resource is common property, so property rights are difficult to establish. These difficulties make a Coasian solution more difficult but make the simulation more realistic.
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Volume (Year): 33 (2002)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
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