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Is the Tragedy of the Commons Likely? Factors Preventing the Dissipation of Fuelwood Rents in Zimbabwe

  • Richard L. Hegan
  • Grant Hauer
  • Martin K. Luckert

Although village ‘‘rules’’ classify fuelwood resources in rural Zimbabwe as being open-access, theory suggests that social norms and/or heterogeneity among users prevents rents from being dissipated. Results from a Random Utility Model suggest that social norms and heterogeneous travel costs significantly influence site choice. Welfare measures suggest that there are positive site rents, and that these rents vary because social norms and/or heterogeneity are preventing rent dissipation at some sites more than others. Given the prevalence of social norms and heterogeneity in costs, the ‘‘tragedy-of-thecommons’’ is unlikely.

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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Land Economics.

Volume (Year): 79 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 181-197

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:79:y:2003:i:2:p:181-197
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  1. Bromley, Daniel W., 1991. "Testing for common versus private property: Comment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 92-96, July.
  2. James A. Wilson, 1990. "Fishing for Knowledge," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 66(1), pages 12-29.
  3. H. Scott Gordon, 1954. "The Economic Theory of a Common-Property Resource: The Fishery," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62, pages 124.
  4. Campbell, Bruce & Mandondo, Alois & Nemarundwe, Nontokozo & Sithole, Bevlyne & De JonG, Wil & Luckert, Marty & Matose, Frank, 2001. "Challenges to Proponents of Common Property Recource Systems: Despairing Voices from the Social Forests of Zimbabwe," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 589-600, April.
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